Over one million people each year throng the streets of Times Square in New York City on Dec. 31 to watch the falling Ball to celebrate the passage of another year and welcome the New Year.

But this year more than a billion will watch it on their television sets or smartphones with an app released by the organizers of Times Square New Year’s Eve, along with their partners, Toshiba and Livestream.

The first official Times Square Ball App, specially designed for Apple and Android mobile devices (images and demonstration video at http://timessquareball.net/app/) has many features like LIVE, six-and-a-half-hour, commercial-free mobile stream of the event, including a performance just before midnight by multi-platinum pop sensation Taio Cruz, other live musical performances and the ability to participate in the celebration.

Toshiba is providing a unique opportunity for users of the app to see their photos on the Toshiba Vision sign directly below the Times Square Ball on New Year’s Eve. Livestream will be providing a live mobile stream of all the events leading up to New Year’s Eve and an on-demand video library with the latest news clips.

With the app, you can send New Year’s Eve wishes and share photos with friends and family, check-in via Foursquare, Facebook and Twitter to find out how far away you are from Times Square.

Even after the last of the New Year’s Eve confetti is swept from Times Square, the app will continue to be a year round source of Times Square news and events.

Brief History:

The 103-year-old Times Square Ball with its 32,256 Philips Luxeon LEDs is seen as more energy efficient than before with the amount of energy equivalent to using two home ovens, says Netherlands-based Royal Philips Electronics which became the Ball's official lighting partner since 2000.

Philips converted the Times Square Ball to its Luxeon LEDs in 2007-08 on the Ball's 100th anniversary. The Ball was upgraded to Luxeon LEDs in 2008-09 with its size doubled. The Ball, lit round the year, is a geodesic sphere, 12 feet in diameter, and weighs 11,875 pounds.

The first Ball was made of iron and wood, weighed 700 pounds, and was covered with 100 light bulbs and in the last 100 years it was changed seven times. In 1920, a 400-lb iron Ball replaced it and in 1955, a 150-lb aluminum Ball with 180 light bulbs was used. In 1995, the aluminum Ball was replaced with aluminum skin, rhinestones, and computer controls.

In 1999, the crystal New Year’s Eve Ball, made by Philips was used and the Ball with LED technology was used from 2007 for the 100th anniversary of the New Year’s Eve Ball. In 2008, the permanent Big Ball was unveiled atop One Times Square where it sparkles throughout the year.

The LED modules reportedly last for years and the red, green, blue and white LEDs are digitally controlled to produce a palette of more than 16 million colors, with dazzling lighting effects.

This tradition of the Times Square Ball Dropping began in 1904 marking the opening of New York's first subway line. It continued on every New Year Eve except in 1942 and 1943 due to World War Two but the Square did see crowds who gathered here in darkness to celebrate the New Year with a moment of silence, followed by the ringing of chimes.

While more than a million gather to watch the celebrations at the Times Square, almost one billion all over the world watch on their televisions. This year, the number may even go up with the smartphones will be joining millions more around the world with the app to watch the event even on the move.

This Year's Event:

4:00 p.m.

The Revelers

Revelers start arriving late in the afternoon on New Year's Eve. By approximately 4:00 p.m., the Bow Tie of Times Square (42nd to 47th Sts. between Broadway & 7th Ave.) is fully closed to traffic. Revelers are directed by the NYPD to gather in separate viewing sections. As one section fills up, the revelers are directed by police to the next viewing section. As the evening progresses, revelers continue to fill the Times Square neighborhood along Broadway and Seventh Avenue moving uptown from 43rd Street to as far as Central Park.

6:00 p.m. to 6:03 p.m.

Opening Ceremonies - Lighting and Raising the Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball

The celebration begins with the lighting and raising of the New Year’s Eve Ball atop One Times Square. The Event Organizers, Tim Tompkins and Jeffrey Straus will be joined by representatives of the Philips Lighting Company to flip the giant switch which lights the New Year’s Eve Ball and begins its ascent accompanied by special pyrotechnic effects atop One Times Square.

6:03 p.m. to 6:15 p.m.

FNC’s All American New Year’s Eve: Musical Performance by Rick Springfield

The Times Square New Year’s Celebration gets started with Rick Springfield performing Jesse’s Girl, Venus In Overdrive and Love Somebody at the Nivea Countdown Stage at Duffy Island between 46th and 47th Streets.

6:17 p.m. to 6:20 p.m.

Nivea Vignette

Bill and Giuliana Rancic share their long distance love story to warm-up the audience at the Nivea Kiss Stage.

6:40 p.m. to 6:48 p.m.

NBC’s New Year’s Eve with Carson Daly: Musical Performance by Greyson Chance

Greyson Chance performs Paparazzi at the Nivea Kiss Stage at Turn-Lane Island between 45th & 46th Streets.

6:51 p.m. to 6:54 p.m.

Toshiba Vignette

Representatives from Toshiba introduce the new Official Times Square Ball App and the opportunity for users of the app to get their photo on the giant Toshiba Vision Screen atop One Times Square.

6:57 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Hourly Countdown with Carson Daly

As we approach the New Year, Carson Daly will appear at the Nivea Countdown Stage to wish the Times Square revelers “Happy New Year”, and lead the ten second countdown to the 7 o’clock hour accompanied by colorful pyrotechnic effects atop One Times Square. Carson will also read some of the confetti wishes to be mixed into the confetti release at midnight, share his personal wish for the New Year, and what he wants to do for the first time in 2011.

7:10 p.m.

Times Square 2011 Hats and Balloons

The Times Square Alliance sanitation crew clad in bright red uniforms begin to distribute tens of thousands of fun handouts to the Times Square revelers for cheering in the New Year. Nivea is providing festive blue New Year’s Eve hats and blue balloons tied with silver mylar ribbons along with useful Nivea Lip Care product to keep our lips looking and feeling beautiful for that unforgettable kiss at midnight.

7:32 p.m. to 7:35 p.m.

Nivea Vignette

Bill and Giuliana Rancic introduce the winning couples of Nivea’s “Kiss The One You Love” reunion contest at the Nivea Kiss Stage.

7:48 p.m. to 7:55 p.m.

NBC’s New Year’s Eve with Carson Daly: Musical Performance by Broadway Cast of “American Idiot”

Broadway cast of the hit musical “American Idiot” perform a three song medley at the Nivea Kiss Stage.

7:57 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Hourly Countdown with Ryan Seacrest

As we approach the New Year, Ryan Seacrest will appear at the Nivea Countdown Stage to wish the Times Square revelers “Happy New Year”, and lead the ten second countdown to the 8 o’clock hour accompanied by colorful pyrotechnic effects atop One Times Square. Ryan will also read some of the confetti wishes to be mixed into the confetti release at midnight, share his personal wish for the New Year, and what he wants to do for the first time in 2011.

8:57 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Hourly Countdown with Anderson Cooper

As we approach the New Year, Anderson Cooper will appear at the Nivea Countdown Stage to wish the Times Square revelers “Happy New Year”, and lead the ten second countdown to the 9 o’clock hour accompanied by colorful pyrotechnic effects atop One Times Square. Anderson will also read some of the confetti wishes to be mixed into the confetti release at midnight, share his personal wish for the New Year, and what he wants to do for the first time in 2011.

9:10 p.m. to 9:20 p.m.

Bethany & Geoffrey’s Wedding Ceremony

After reviewing nearly 2,000 submissions, Get Married Media selected Marine Corps reservists Bethany & Geoffrey as the winning couple to Get Married in Times Square. The couple met each other in Iraq. They were engaged on a Bahamian beach, and will now Get Married in Times Square at the Nivea Countdown Stage.

9:20 p.m. to 9:23 p.m.

Waterford Crystal Wedding Toast

Waterford Crystal Master Craftsman, Jim O’Leary joined by the Times Square revelers will give the newlyweds a heart-warming Times Square wedding toast at the Nivea Countdown Stage.

9:26 p.m. to 9:37 p.m.

USO’s Liberty Bells Performance

The USO’s Liberty Bells perform a Seventies Medley and a special Service Salute at the Nivea Kiss Stage.

9:37 p.m. to 9:40 p.m.

Stand Up To Cancer

Representatives from Stand Up To Cancer and MasterCard Worldwide make a special announcement about their efforts to find a cure for cancer at the Nivea Countdown Stage.

9:51 p.m. to 9:54 p.m.

Nivea Vignette

Two romantic revelers will be featured at the Nivea Kiss Stage for a special midnight practice Kiss …3..2..1.., Kiss like a billion people are watching!

9:56 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Hourly Countdown with Carnival Cruise Lines

As we approach the New Year, Carnival’s Senior Cruise Director, John Heald will appear at the Nivea Countdown Stage to wish the Times Square revelers “Happy New Year”, and lead the ten second countdown to the 10 o’clock hour accompanied by a red, white and blue confetti release and colorful pyrotechnic effects atop One Times Square. John will also read some of the confetti wishes to be mixed into the confetti release at midnight, share his personal wish for the New Year, and what he wants to do for the first time in 2011.

10:09 p.m. to 10:15 p.m.

ABC’s Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve: Musical Performance by Taio Cruz

Taio Cruz performs a medley of his hit songs at the Nivea Countdown Stage.

10:25 p.m. to 10:28 p.m.

Nivea Vignette

Two romantic revelers will be featured at the Nivea Kiss Stage for a special midnight practice Kiss …3..2..1.., Kiss like a billion people are watching!

10:37 p.m. to 10:45 p.m.

ABC’s Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve: Musical Performance by Ke$ha

Ke$ha performs a medley of her hit songs at the Nivea Countdown Stage.

10:57 p.m. to 11:03 p.m.

Hourly Countdown with Raúl de Molina

As we approach the New Year, Raul de Molina will appear at the Nivea Countdown Stage to wish the Times Square revelers “Happy New Year”, and lead the ten second countdown to the 11 o’clock hour accompanied by colorful pyrotechnic effects atop One Times Square. Raul will also read some of the confetti wishes to be mixed into the confetti release at midnight, share his personal wish for the New Year, and what he wants to do for the first time in 2011.

11:03 p.m. to 11:10 p.m.

Univision’s Feliz 2011!: Musical Performance by Elvis Crespo

Elvis Crespo performs 15 Inviernos and Suavemente at the Nivea Kiss Stage.

11:38 p.m. to 11:46 p.m.

ABC’s Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve: Musical Performance by Backstreet Boys & NKOTB

Backstreet Boys & New Kids On The Block perform a medley of their hit songs at the Nivea Countdown Stage.

11:53 p.m. to 11:59 p.m.

Special Performance by Taio Cruz

Taio Cruz performs Falling In Love and a special rendition of Imagine at the Nivea Kiss Stage.

11:59 p.m.

The Sixty-Second Countdown

The Times Square 2011 Special Guest and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg push the Waterford crystal button that signals the descent of the New Year’s Eve Ball, and lead the final sixty-second countdown to the New Year at the Nivea Countdown Stage.
The New Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball

The lighted Ball descends 70 feet in sixty seconds. The Ball is a geodesic sphere, twelve feet in diameter, weighing 11,875 pounds. The Ball is covered with 2,688 Waterford crystal triangles and lit by 32,256 Philips Luxeon Rebel LEDs.

12:00 a.m. -- New Year's Day

2011 Sign

At the stroke of Midnight, the lights on the New Year’s Eve Ball are turned off as the numerals of the New Year “2011” burst to life shining high above Times Square.

Times Square Confetti Release and Pyrotechnic Effects

The world-famous New Year's Eve confetti is released from the rooftops of buildings throughout Times Square creating a celebratory blizzard of colorful confetti as revelers welcome the New Year accompanied by colorful pyrotechnic effects.

12:15 a.m. - End of Show