Kids and iPads Can Coexist

by Fat Daddy, Esq. on December 22, 2010

The iPad has many fun and educational uses for kids. I loved letting my girls play with my iPad when I first got it. Then I noticed a tiny scratch on the edge of the screen and I became reluctant to let them use it without direct supervision. Yes it was a small scratch that was barely noticeable and was not even on the display area of the screen, but what about next time? Next time I would not be so lucky, next time it would be a large gash down the middle of the very expensive screen.

While doing some last minute Christmas shopping I came across the Zagg invisibleSHIELD and decided to give it a try. Some of the claimed features include self-healing durability and a lifetime replacement guarantee. The package includes a precut film, a bottle of application solution, a small squeegee, a lint-free cloth and installation instructions. The installation instructions are fairly straight forward—make sure the screen and surrounding area are surgery-suite clean, spray the application solution on the film and carefully stick the film to the screen—but the installation can be stressful, especially for a perfectionist.

Eventually I was able to get all but some of the smaller air bubbles out from under the film and it looked, well, like crap. The whole point of having an iPad is the beautiful, clear screen. Now I had a screen with a bunch of little bubbles all over it. Plus I finally got around to reading the rest of the instructions and saw that they recommend that you not use your iPad for 12–24 hours after installing the film. What? I installed this on a Sunday morning, and now I have to go all day without using my iPad? Not wanting to to ruin anything, I reluctantly put it away for a few hours.

Fast forward a few days and I am happy to report that the screen looks much, much better. As promised, the small bubbles and imperfections did disappear. I noticed one small piece of lint that I missed but if you did not know it was there—and your were not actively trying to find a mistake—you would not know it is there. The display is not exactly the same as it was without the film, but it is still very clear although slightly tackier than the glass only.

The best part of the installation is my reaction to my kids. Now, when they ask to “do something on my iPad” I can tell them yes without hesitation. Except for worrying that they will drop it, or get it wet, or lose it, but that is a post for a different day. The only problem I had last night letting the kids use the iPad was when Thing 1 opened up the Penultimate app (their favorite for making drawings), turned to her sister and showed off her ability to write, declaring “I hate [Thing 2].” Hair pulling ensued and I got my iPad back for the night.

Image: Mike Licht,

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