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Abstract

Smartphones have become a reliable technology for accessing information and services in rural communities. Mobile applications, such as social media and news apps running on smartphones, are no longer exclusively utilised by users in developed communities. Mobile applications are accessed in highly contextualised environments. This paper discusses a context-aware model that was implemented to improve the usability of information presented on smartphone applications for emerging users. User evaluation was conducted within a remote area in South Africa with a sample of users, most of whom did not have prior experience in using computer applications. The results of the evaluation present empirical evidence that the model can improve the usefulness of mobile applications and their adoption in rural areas by emerging users who primarily rely on smartphones for accessing a variety of information sources and services. The findings can be utilised as a blueprint for implementing sustainable mobile interventions for emerging users.

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