I want to use a screen protector, but I just don’t. I hate the way those little bubbles always end up right in the center. I get fixated on them, trying to push them to the edge only to end up with an even more noticeable mark where I smashed the plastic sheet too much. Plus, after shoving my smartphone into my bag, pocket, or backpack enough times, the edges get all gross with dust and crumbs that stick to the adhesive backing.
I know I’m not the only one to feel this way. Nearly all screen protectors now come with special “easy” application tabs and that silly little plastic card that is supposed to smooth out all the bubbles, but never does.
There are even a few companies that have started making special applicators.
For example, the PurTek Roll-On Screen Shield Kit features a tray and mini roller so you can hold your device in place while pressing the screen protector on, supposedly creating a bubble-free application.
The Crater is a universal screen protector kit that uses that silly little card, but the tray helps keep your smartphone in place, so it should at least be easier to align.
The Alin is a screen protection applicator that uses a small frame with a sideways grip, but again uses the squeegee method, which I’ve never found to be particularly reliable.
Some smartphone users have suggested the “hinge method” when applying a screen protector. The idea is that you add a strip of tape to the protector and adhere it to your phone so that, after you set up the perfect alignment, you don’t lose it trying to actually put the screen protector on.
Another suggestion is to apply the screen protector in the bathroom after running the shower for a few minutes – just long enough to build up a bit of steam. The condensation in the air will help keep small particles from floating onto your freshly de-dusted device.
Is it really all worth it? These days, smartphones are made with scratch-resistant, dust repellent glass. Does a screen protector really make that much of a difference?
Do you use a screen protector? What kind? And do you have any tricks for applying it without making a mess?