5 iPhone Apps to Cut Your Thanksgivings Stress

Thanksgiving is supposed to be a day of sharing and embracing generosity, but more often than not it seems to turn into a stress filled event. Your Thanksgiving shouldn't have to turn out that way, so The Mac Observer put together a list of five iPhone and iPad apps to help you get through the day happy and stress-free — or as stress-free as possible. It is, after all, Thanksgiving.

Joy of Cooking

Coming up with the perfect Thanksgiving dinner menu doesn't have to be a stress-filled ordeal thanks to Joy of Cooking. This awesome app turns your iPhone or iPad into a cookbook loaded with recipes for appetizers, main dishes, desserts, and more. It includes excellent photos showing how your finished dishes will look, offers preset timers so nothing gets overcooked or burned, makes shopping lists so you don't forget anything at the store, and even offers voice navigation so you don't have to touch your iPhone or iPad screen with sticky fingers. A recent update added a Thanksgiving guide, too, so you're totally set with everything you need for a great holiday event. Joy of Cooking costs US$6.99.

Plan your Thanksgiving dinner on your iPad with Joy of CookingPlan your Thanksgiving dinner on your iPad with Joy of Cooking

Vivino Wine Scanner

Picking out the right wine for your holiday dinners can be hit or miss if you want to try something new, or aren't sure what goes best with your menu. Vivino Wine Scanner takes the mystery out of choosing wines by letting you snap a photo of the label with your iPhone camera, and then telling you all about your choice. The app gives you ratings, offers personalized recommendations based on your tastes, and if a wine you scan isn't in the Vivino database, the team behind the app will research it and get you information as quickly as they can. You can even scan a wine list in restaurants to help decide what to order, too. Vivino for the iPhone is free, and a $4.99 in-app purchase lets you create and manage your own wine cellar list.

Pick the right wine for your holiday with VivinoPick the right wine for your holiday with Vivino


Not sure exactly how to get to Thanksgiving Dinner? Or maybe you know where to go, but don't want to get stuck in traffic. Waze for the iPhone has you covered. Just enter your destination, and it'll give you turn-by-turn instructions with real-time updates on traffic and road conditions. If there's a faster route, Waze will let you know and update your directions. Since Waze gets its real-time data from users, you can help out other drivers by adding in alerts of your own, like broken down cars or traffic jams. Think of it as a way to give back a little to the community of drivers who are helping you out. Waze is a a free download.

Use Waze to get to your Thanksgiving events on timeUse Waze to get to your Thanksgiving events on time


If your holiday get togethers include a know-it-all that doesn't really know it all, or often include conversations where looking up details is part of the fun, WolframAlpha is a great addition to your iPhone or iPad. The app ties into the Wolfram Alpha database is loaded with information about math and science, music, art, history, geography, weather, and more. If you need an answer — for trivia, or to put the know-it-all in their place — there's a good chance you'll find it here. WolframAlpha is free, and offers a $0.99 in-app purchase that lets you use images in your queries.

WolframAlpha is your gateway to holiday conversation answers and triviaWolframAlpha is your gateway to holiday conversation answers and trivia

Monument Valley

If you need an escape from the day's festivities — or just a few moments of quiet away from the family — Monument Valley for the iPhone and iPad has your back. The game's music is subdued and soothing while the Escher-style graphics are wonderfully beautiful. Each level is a puzzle you sort out so you can move on to the next. The levels are difficult enough to make you think, but not so hard that you can't sort your way through and move on to the next before getting too frustrated. The game includes ten levels, plus you can buy the Forgotten Shores add-on pack with eight more levels for $1.99, and an extra $0.99 gets you the special Ida's (RED) Dream level that supports the Global Fund to Fight AIDS. Monument Valley is priced at $3.99.

Monument Valley makes for a great escape from holiday stressMonument Valley makes for a great escape from holiday stress