Smart screen protectors give your iPhone superpowers

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HYPER GLASS by Live Work Play has two invisible buttons for back and forward.
HYPER GLASS by Live Work Play has two invisible buttons for back and forward.
Photo: Live Work Play

Perhaps as we continue to evolve, our thumbs will grow longer so future generations will be able to reach the back menu arrow at the top of the iPhone. But we can’t wait hundreds of years for that.

We either need to lift an extra finger, god forbid, or purchase a glass screen protector that essentially gives our struggling thumb invisible back and forward buttons.

Some company got the idea to put a separate capacitive channel in the glass that connects the bottom of the screen to the top and now there are several companies bringing their glass to market.

Here are four with ambitious marketing language like first-ever, best-ever, the thinnest, the toughest or evolutionary. What’s important is your thumb is sore and you keep dropping your iPhone 6 Plus, so pick one.

HYPER GLASS

HYPER GLASS has curved edges and adds just .33 mm to the thickness of your iPhone 6 or 6 Plus
HYPER GLASS has curved edges and adds just .33 mm to the thickness of your iPhone 6 or 6 Plus
Photo: Live Work Play

This protector was just released this week by the accessories company Live Work Play. It is barely noticeable at .33 mm thick with curved edges and made from AGC Ashai Glass from Japan.

The glass leaves a small area exposed for the iPhone home button while giving users invisible back and forward buttons in the lower corners.

While other companies are just now beginning to ship after successful crowd-funding campaigns, HYPER GLASS can be had right now for the all four iPhones in the 6 line for $44.99. Works with any case.

Smart + Buttons

The Smart + Buttons tempered glass protector from PureGear.
The Smart + Buttons tempered glass protector from PureGear.
Photo: PureGear

The Smart + Buttons by PureGear uses a .48 mm tempered glass with invisible touch buttons in the lower corner. The company recommends using the full bottom side of your thumbs for best results.

PureGear includes an alignment tray for stress-free application of its screen. The Smart + Buttons protector runs $39.99. Works with any case.

Halo BacK

The Halo BacK smart glass has touch spot for a back button that sits to the left of the home button.
The Halo BacK smart glass has touch spot for a back button that sits to the left of the home button.
Photo: Halo BacK/YouTube

The Halo BacK screen received a lot of good press during a successful Kickstarter campaign, where its creators called it the “World’s First Smart Screen Protector.” If that was indeed the case at the time, other companies, like the two above, beat them to market.

The Halo BacK raised more than $250,000 on Kickstarter earlier this year, far exceeding fundraising goal, and are just now starting to ship its protector.

Its website offers little information on specs, but its campaign page says it is .21 mm thick and weighs between 6 and 8 g, the heavier of course for the 6 Plus. The Halo BacK has only one touch point for a back button. Can be ordered on the website for $29.99. Works with any case.

The TAP

The TAP by ARMORZ has two touch points for front and back buttons.
The TAP by ARMORZ has two touch points for front and back buttons.
Photo: ARMORZ

Billed as the “world’s most intelligent tempered glass screen protector,” the TAP by AMORZ also came off a good Kickstarter campaign and hopes to ship to early bird backers by November.

The AMORZ website does not yet feature the TAP, however, it appears you can pre-order it here. It offers two types of tempered glass protectors with two touch points, one for $19.95 that is case friendly and the other, an edge-to-edge design that will sell for $24.95.