Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade app is designed to help onlookers enjoy the parade - and find the nearest Macy's store.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade app is designed to help onlookers enjoy the parade – and find the nearest Macy’s store.

Thanksgiving – the long-weekend of gluttony that kicks off the holiday season in the U.S. (and by extension, everywhere else) – is pretty much the Super Bowl for brands. The trifecta of travel, food and shopping puts advertising efforts into overdrive.

But the drudgery of travel, pressure of meal preparation and the madness of Black Friday tend to make things stressful. According to a TripAdvisor Survey, that’s especially the case this year.

The survey found that more Americans will be on the move this Thanksgiving than last year, and more than half of those travellers will be turning to mobile devices – especially smartphones – to help them along the way.

These five brands are getting in on the trend with free and useful mobile apps that help users with everything from travel and meals to navigating Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Chowing down on Thanksgiving dinner

Chow Thanksgiving Coach App

Chow’s Thanksgiving app gives easy-to-follow instructions for preparing the holiday meal.

The popular foodie website, Chow.com goes the no-frills route with its ultra simple Chow Thanksgiving Dinner Coach app.

For three years running, the app has been helping users plan and prepare their holiday meal, and nothing more. As the website boasts: “No one does it this basic.” The brand’s commitment to simplicity has earned it Gizmodo’s Gold Medal for Thanksgiving Apps, and a whole lot of satisfied stomachs.

No muss with Butterball Plus

The brand responsible for 20 percent of turkey production in the U.S. (that’s more than one billion pounds of gobble) is taking a bite out of the competition with its free app, Cookbook Plus.

Turkey lovers may not end up with a Butterball this year (the brand is suffering a turkey shortage), but the branded app can still be applied to its generic counterparts. What sets this recipe app apart is the thoughtful feature that acknowledges where and how the app will be used: voice command saves hands-on cooks from having to muck up their devices.

The Butterball Plus app is voice controlled.

The Butterball Plus app is voice controlled.

Checking it twice with Amazon

Even though mobile retail spending is expected to increase this Black Friday, brick-and-mortar malls will still be packed with savvy deal-hunters, many of whom will be equipped with bar-code scanning and price-checking apps.

Amazon’s Price Check app stands out from the rest, however. It allows shoppers to compare Amazon’s online prices with in-store sales. The app also distinguishes itself with its variety of search methods, such as barcode scanning, photo and voice – simply snap a photo or say the name of the product and the app does the rest.

Amazon's Price Check app let's users take photos, scan or say the name of an in-store product and check Amazon's online price.

Amazon’s Price Check app let’s users take photos, scan or say the name of an in-store product and compare it to Amazon’s online prices.

AT&T gets behind the wheel

The AT&T DriveMode app blocks drivers' incoming messages to keep them safe.

The AT&T DriveMode app blocks drivers’ incoming messages to keep them safe.

This holiday season telecommunications brand AT&T plans to raise awareness for its “Texting and Driving… It Can Wait” campaign by giving away its AT&T DriveMode app.

The 2013 campaign made waves this summer with the viral short film, From One Second to The Next by acclaimed filmmaker Werner Herzog. The branded app helps prevent accidents like the ones featured in the film by blocking drivers’ incoming messages and sending customizable auto-replies.

Macy’s reigning parade app

The U.S. retail brand has been a fixture of American Thanksgiving ever since it hosted its first parade in 1924, but its Thanksgiving Day Parade app launches the brand into the digital age.

The app is designed to be as useful and entertaining for those watching at home as it is for parade-side onlookers. It provides users with an interactive experience of the parade, directly connects users to the brand’s online store, and also includes a brick-and-mortar store locator. Which is handy, because for the first time ever, Macy’s will be open on Thanksgiving.