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Mobile Apps

Read the New York Times for free on your iPhone

Or some of it, anyway. After a year trying to make it as a subscription service, NYT Now is now free.

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Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

See if this sounds familiar: You like the New York Times, you'd love to read the New York Times on the go, but you just couldn't justify a $7.99/month subscription fee for NYT Now, the company's mobile app.

That was the deal when the app debuted last year, and no doubt the venerated paper was hoping its experiment in digital delivery would be a success.

If today's development is any indication, it was not: NYT Now is now free. And, like most other news apps, it's ad-supported.

Though it arrives as a 2.0 version, NYT Now is mostly similar to its predecessor, offering a scrolling, almost bloglike feed of curated articles, with the newest ones at the top. The Morning Briefing will deliver top stories via banner notifications, and you also have the option of getting breaking-news alerts.

The app now displays a banner up top that shows how many stories have been added since last you looked, and many stories appear in the feed not with just the opening paragraph or a simple summary, but instead with bullet points designed to help you quickly digest the salient points.

NYT Now's feed includes a smattering of stories from sources other than just the Times, including Esquire and Reuters. A quick tap of any story in the feed lets you save it for later reading, and of course you can share stories via the usual methods: Facebook, Twitter, email and so on.

For now, the app remains an iPhone-only affair; there's not even an iPad version. Android users looking for Times stories are limited to the NYTimes app, which requires a subscription.

Whether or not a free NYT Now can attract more eyeballs remains to be seen. It still doesn't give you access to everything in the print and online-subscriber versions, but it does give you a generous taste without the monthly fee.