NYT Now will cost $8 for four weeks – around half of the current lowest NYT subscription – and is part of a series of new paid products being launched on 2 April to sit alongside NYtimes.com and the outlet's core apps.
"Now is an express version of Times journalism optimised for smartphone, but also giving access to all of the top stories on our website," New York Times president and chief executive Mark Thompson told the FT Digital Media conference today.
"When we talked to consumers it became clear that many of them were interested in accessing top stories – sometimes the headlines and sometimes in more depth – on the fly.
"So now a team of editors, designers and technologists have brought it to life."
When a user opens the app in the morning, it will show a geo-located weather forecast for the day ahead, as well headline briefings of the day's top stories.
Story summaries are longer than on the New York Times's main app, offering an easily-digestible format for users on-the-go as well as an option to click through to the full article.
The core news stream, which has a strong visual emphasis and is enriched with video, includes a mix of hard news and softer, celebrity-led content, with an in-app function to bookmark stories to read at a later time.
The app also recognises when a user has clicked a certain story and notifies them when it has been updated.
There is also a second app screen featuring a stream of "the most interesting" news stories from around the web, hand-curated by NYT editors from sources as diverse at jezebel.com and RT.com.
Another interesting feature is that in the evening, when people generally have more free time, the app will suggest longer articles users may be interested in reading, based on previous articles they have read.
Demonstrating the new app to Journalism.co.uk, Thompson said it was "very much based around asking people what's useful to them at different times of the day and night".
"The idea is to give people a sense throughout the day of what they need to be fully informed on what's going on in the world."
And although the app, which will be monetised through native advertising, will boost the NYT's portfolio of paid-for products, Thompson was keen to point out that it had not been designed as simply another revenue stream.
"NYT Now fills not just a gap under the demand curve we want to exploit," he said, "but is something with an editorial heart and a distinctive tone of voice."