I’ve applied dozens of screen protectors to my iPhones over the years, and I’d say less than 10% of them actually went on straight. They almost always go on wonky first time, and that means pulling them away and applying them again.
Category: Screen Protectors
Works With: iPhone 5/5s
Fortunately, I don’t have to worry about this anymore, because I have the ALIN from TYLT. The ALIN plastic alignment tool that clips into the side of your iPhone 5 or iPhone 5s and ensures that every single screen protector you apply goes on completely straight first time.
It takes the hassle out of the whole process, and it turns a ten-minute job into a two-minute one. And as you might expect, ALIN is reusable, so you can keep hold of it and put it to work every time you need to apply a new screen protector.
ALIN costs $25, and for that you get the alignment tool, plus four screen protectors — three clear ones, and one anti-glare one. Is it worth your money?
The ALIN is incredibly easy to use. In fact, I found the most difficult thing wasn’t applying the screen protector, but getting the alignment tool out of the box. I don’t know why I found it so difficult, but I did — until I ripped the box to pieces.
The ALIN attaches onto your iPhone with ease; simply line it up and slide your device in, then ensure the plastic clip on the back is in place to prevent the ALIN from becoming loose while you’re applying the screen protector. It’s important to clean your display before you fit the ALIN, because the left edge is difficult to get to once the frame is in place.
You may need to clean it afterwards, too. I had fingerprints on the right side of the display where I’d held onto my iPhone to slip it into the frame, and dust and other particles had already begun to settle on the display since the first cleanup.
Once your iPhone is inside the ALIN, you can quickly whip out the screen protector and get it on your display. The quicker you move, the lower the chance that you’ll get anything underneath the protector before it goes down.
Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about getting the protector straight anymore — just ensure the left edge is flat against the frame and lay it down.
TYLT’s high-quality screen protectors have been impressive.
As for the quality of the protectors themselves, I’ve been very impressed so far. I’ve been using my first one (a clear one) for just under a week, and it still looks as good as new. Cheaper protectors often pickup scratches during the first few days of use, but I’m yet to find a blemish on this one.
It’s also incredibly clear, and doesn’t impede your Retina display’s good looks in any way — it’s still as sharp as before, and just as responsive, too. Things may be slightly different with the anti-glare protector — they usually tend to make things a little blurry due to their matte finish — so bear that in mind.
Although the ALIN will ensure your screen protector goes on straight, it doesn’t do everything for you — you’ll still need to make sure there are no bits on your screen and that you don’t trap any bubbles beneath the protector when you put it down.
A cleaning cloth is included so you can remove any fingerprints, but as I mentioned above, your display will still collect particles if you don’t move quickly after cleaning it. It’s a shame the ALIN doesn’t come with a sticky sheet that covers your display while you prepare the protector, then pulls off any bits when you take it off — like the Tru-Fit, which I reviewed back in July.
You still need to put a little bit of effort in.
There’s also a cardboard applicator included, which helps you push out any air as you lay the protector down. If you take a little more time with this step, and slide the applicator from the left edge to the right as you apply the protector, it isn’t difficult to prevent bubbles. But again, you still need to put a little bit of effort in.
The ALIN is a wonderfully simple product that’ll make your life that little bit easier. If applying screen protectors is a job you dread, then you need something like the ALIN in your life. It’s $25, but you can pay close to that for four high-quality protectors anyway — so a little extra for the alignment tool makes it all worth it.
I do think that the Tru-Fit is better in some ways. It’s $20, and only comes with two protectors, but it makes the application process even easier. You hardly need to worry about trapping air, and thanks to the sticky sheets that are included, trapped particles are a thing of the past.
I’d certainly go back and buy the ALIN over the Tru-Fit.
Having said that, there’s a big difference between the two. While the ALIN can be used again and again — with protectors from TYLT or from third parties — the Tru-Fit can only be used twice. With that in mind, it’s better value for money in the long run, and a tool that’s likely to serve you well for a number of years.
Having reviewed both products, I’d certainly go back and buy the ALIN over the Tru-Fit, and you should, too.
Product Name: ALIN
The Good: Makes applying screen protectors easy; can be used again and again; comes with four high-quality screen protectors.
The Bad: Doesn’t do everything for you — you’ll still need to take care of bits and bubbles yourself.
The Verdict: If you use screen protectors and you hate applying them, then the ALIN should be your next purchase.
Buy from: TYLT