Times Square & Philips Hue New Year's Eve apps will help you ring in 2016

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iPhone users celebrating New Year's Eve by following the ball drop in New York City's Times Square have a few iOS apps to enhance their evening, including the event's official app, and a unique Philips-based app synced with the company's Hue lighting system.

The official app includes a countdown timer which can be set to any timezone, but primarily revolves around a video feed, which will include live commercial-free coverage of festivities and the moment itself. Developer Countdown Entertainment is promising celebrity guests and musical acts, as well behind-the-scenes material and conversations with partiers.

In tandem with video, users will see a separate feed of Twitter posts marked with the ball drop's hashtag.

Philips, meanwhile, has collaborated with Countdown and iMakeStuff on an update of Hue Fireworks. The new version includes a Times Square Ball Drop mode, which will copy effects used by Philips bulbs in the real ball.

The mode is geared only towards the last 60 seconds of the countdown, and will demand that users have a specific screen within the app open while it's in progress. People can, however, choose to preview the effects, or recreate them after the fact.

The official countdown app is a free download and runs on iPhones and iPods running iOS 7.0 or later. Hue Fireworks costs $1.99, and requires Hue lighting, but runs on any device with iOS 8.4 or later.


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