I’ve been reading all the reports, like this one from our own Darrell Etherington, about how Apple is removing film-based screen protectors from its stores. Multiple accounts suggest that this is for one or both of two key reasons: First, the mere presence of them in the store suggests somehow that the iPhone needs them when in fact it doesn’t; and second, the liability to Apple of imperfect applications is simply too great to ignore.
I’ve got both a case and screen protector on my iPhone 3GS, and I used cases and screen protectors for the original iPhone and iPhone 3G as well. Upon reading these reports, I did the same thing that any cautious and deliberate person would do. I threw caution to the wind and tore off the screen protector, which was in need of replacement anyway.
Despite my hesitation, I have to say that I prefer my iPhone without a screen protector. Images are more clear, the user interface responds to touch controls much better, and the screen is really easy to keep clean with a quick wipe on my t-shirt or another clean soft cloth (as long as I’m not eating chips while using the iPhone). I also realized that I long ago set the brightness of my iPhone really low to conserve battery power. I used to travel much more than I do now, and often found myself needing to conserve my battery for necessary phone calls and email. Now I’m always closer to a power source for a recharge, and a friend gifted me a Mophie Juice Pack not too long ago for times when I’m off the grid.
I haven’t gone completely native, though. I kept the case. I’ll have to do some digging to remember which one it is, but it’s a very low-profile, hard shell case that simply and easily snaps on without adding any significant weight or bulk. I keep my iPhone in the same pocket as my keys, and I really want to preserve the back for resell value. Without the case, I’d be afraid that it would be scratched too much. The case also has a slightly more matte, tactile feel that still slides in and out of my pocket easily but doesn’t slide across the table or get slippery with sweaty palms (I know, I know).
If you’re using a screen protector, you might want to do what I did and take it off. It’s almost like getting a brand-new iPhone.