Sunday, December 16, 2012

iOS device non-glare screens

I've never been happy with the high-gloss screens on iOS devices: in my opinion, they're fingerprint magnets, regardless of their "oleophobic" coatings.

Since getting my first iPad (the gateway device that suck[er]ed me into the clutches of iOS), I've put non-glare screen films on my devices. Not only does a good film improve the experience for me, I've saved an iPhone from serious damage thanks to it.

I haven't tried them all—they're awful pricey for much experimentation—but I have had both success and failure with various brand's implementation of the film. For the purpose of this post, I'll stick to making only positive recommendations, leaving out any negative reviews; you can find those all over the Internet...

The iLuv "Glare-free protective film" was the first I tried, based on an online recommendation. As it turns out, it was a great choice, and it gave me my first taste of the difficulties involved in getting screen protectors properly "installed" on a device—especially one with the square inches of coverage that an iPad represents. The only negative part of my experience was the lack of local purchase options for the various devices (iPad, iPod Touch, iPhone). Online was the only option for some of them, and after adding both tax & shipping, they were a bit of an investment.

That's when I was introduced to the Power Support HD Anti-Glare screen protectors, the only screen protector I've ever found sold in the Apple retail stores. While all screen protectors have some amount of impact on the original glossy screen—the stated reason why Apple didn't make matte screens a standard option—I've preferred the non-glare aspect of the Power Support film far more than any loss in color fidelity in the Retina display. Similarly, the Apple retail stores in my area only carried the iPhone version; getting them for iPod or iPad are also online experiences.

And with the introduction of a new form-factor—the iPad Mini—it becomes a waiting game to see who will support the new screen first (as of this writing, it was iLuv).

Power Support