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Mobile news consumption is common even among older smartphone owners, who tend to use these devices for more basic activities.Four-in-ten smartphone owners ages 65 and older use their phone at least occasionally to keep up with breaking news, half use it to share information about local happenings, and one-third use it to stay abreast of events and activities in their community.Lower-income and “smartphone-dependent” users are especially likely to turn to their phones for navigating job and employment resources.A majority of smartphone owners use their phone to follow along with breaking news, and to share and be informed about happenings in their local community.Today nearly two-thirds of Americans own a smartphone, and 19% of Americans rely to some degree on a smartphone for accessing online services and information and for staying connected to the world around them — either because they lack broadband at home, or because they have few options for online access other than their cell phone.Indeed, 7% of Americans own a smartphone but have easily available alternatives for going online other than their cell phone.
Each of these figures is substantially higher than those reported by smartphone owners with more access options at their disposal.
Smartphones also play an important role in helping their owners navigate their environment and get where they need to go, especially as a mobile GPS for real-time driving directions: Each of these behaviors is especially prevalent among younger smartphone owners: for instance, 17% of smartphone owners ages 18-29 use their phone to reserve a taxi or car service at least occasionally.
Additionally, African American and Latino smartphone owners look up public transit information on their phones at higher rates than whites (37% of black smartphone owners, 30% of Latinos, and 21% of whites do this at least on occasion).
Smartphones help users navigate the world around them, from turn-by-turn driving directions to assistance with public transit. An “experience sampling” of smartphone owners over the course of a week illustrates how young adults have deeply embedded mobile devices into the daily contours of their lives.
The experience sampling survey illustrates that smartphone usage often produces feelings of productivity and happiness, but that many users also feel distracted or frustrated after mobile screen encounters.