Do You Need a Screen Protector for an iPhone?

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First among the features that distinguish the Apple iPhone from many traditional cell phones -- and most other smart phones -- is its touch screen functionality. As you navigate the iPhone solely by tapping on its screen, the screen glass experiences greater wear and tear than it would on an ordinary cellphone. One option for preventing damage, cosmetic or otherwise, is to use a clear screen protector, although Apple doesn't officially recommend them.

Reasons for Screen Protectors

  • Screen protectors' primary purpose is to protect the iPhone screen from cosmetic damage that can result from the excessive touching involved in operating the device on a daily basis. Depending on how rough or gentle you are with your iPhone, this varies from greasy fingerprints and smudges, to more permanent scratches, dents and even cracks. In extreme circumstances, you could argue that a screen protector prevents against damages that would be detrimental to the iPhone's function, although the device's is designed to be touched repeatedly for the duration of its life.

Types of Screen Protectors

  • Several types of screen protectors exist, all of which are inexpensive and disposable in nature. Cheaper variants tend to be flimsier and often roll out onto the iPhone screen from their packaging. Higher-quality screen protectors, on the other hand, are rigid -- albeit paper-thin -- sheets of plastic which adhere to your screen once you remove their backing. All screen protectors are thin and unintrusive enough to where they won't inhibit the iPhone from feeling the touch of your finger and, thus, functioning.

Applying Screen Protector

  • Screen protectors are designed to be invisible to the naked eye, so it's important to take care when applying one to your device. Whether you use a more flexible, roll-out screen protector or a rigid sheet of film, line up the edges of the screen protector as precisely as possible with those of the iPhone's screen to ensure an exact fit. In addition to cosmetic unattractiveness, an incorrectly placed screen protector might cause, one or more of its edges being misaligned and it could result in it coming off in your pocket or purse.

Disadvantages of Screen Protectors

  • Screen protectors aren't necessary to keep your iPhone functioning -- and in fact, they present several potential disadvantages. For one, although they protect your screen itself against permanent cosmetic damage and scratches, fingerprints and scratches to the screen protector itself can necessitate frequent replacements. Furthermore, air bubbles can make their way underneath the screen protector over time, resulting not only in an unattractive appearance, but eventually in the screen protector coming off your iPhone entirely.

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