Holiday Hat Trick

Yes, it’s THAT time of year again here in America. Thanksgiving is next Thursday, which traditionally kicks off the start of the holiday travel, eating and shopping seasons. Here are some apps that may help dealing with all three a little easier.

Getting There
Your smartphone should have its own Maps app. If you use Android, you get those nice, accurate Google Maps app. If you’ve got an iOS 6 device, Apple CEO Tim Cook suggests these alternatives to Apple’s still-a-work-in-progress-honest Maps offering:

Worried about traffic on the way? Try the free Inrix Traffic app, available for most smartphone platforms.

Bird is the Word
If it’s Thanksgiving, there’s probably a turkey on the menu at some point. The Butterball folks have been guiding nervous cooks through Thanksgiving turkey prep for years, with a telephone hotline, but the company has branched out in recent years with a handy mobile Web site, the Butterball Turkey Talk podcast and even its own $5 Butterball Cookbook Plus app for iOS.

Got vegetarians in the family or what to devitate from the traditional Thankgiving menu? There are plenty of mobile cooking apps out there, including the Betty Crocker Mobile Cookbook (for Android or iOS) and the helpful, inventive Pepperplate. And if you’re not allowed to watch football during the meal, apps like ESPN ScoreCenter and Yahoo Sportacular (Android and iOS) offer free game alerts and live updates to sneak under the table.

Eeeeeeeeee! Commerce!
Many people take advantage of the day off after Thanksgiving (Black Friday) to pillage the malls for mega-sales. Many stores have apps — like Macy’s and Target — and now many malls have their own apps with maps and more info to make this full-contact shopping experience more effective.

Can’t stand the crowds? When you get back home, there’s always Cyber Monday!

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