Ever since getting my iPhone I have been completely paranoid about it. The AT&T store where I bought the phone did not have any cases that did not look completely lame. I have therefore been carrying around a naked iPhone for nearly 2 weeks. I am so worried it is going to get scratched that it is driving me crazy. Trina says I carry it around like it is made from high-grade weapons grade plutonium. I am not quite sure I am comfortable with my wife knowing how high-grade weapons-grade plutonium is handled but that is probably another completely unrelated subject that I should leave for another day. So since iPhone 3G day I have been searching for a case that would protect my iPhone without making it look like some sort of plastic encased brick. I really thought I would get something like the Griffin iClear that I use for my iPod Touch. I like the clear plastic cases as it lets the beauty of the device show through but also provides the needed protection from the elements. It is kind of a hassle to dock since it won’t actually fit in the dock but I have gotten used to just using the cable so I can’t complain too much. Now that I have the iPhone I want something that is a little more elegant and useful.
When we were in Utah on the first leg of our vacation Trina and Ashley wanted to go shopping. I know, who would have thought that a mother and daughter would want to go to a store and look at things? Dakota and I were drug along as the girls all wanted to go looking for who knows what. We happened to end up at the University Mall in Provo UT. As they went looking at scrapbooking stuff I was left to wander the mall. I came across a mall cart that was selling a product called Invisible Shield. This was basically a plastic film that was adhered to a device that would make it impervious to scratches. The person working at the kiosk was doing a demonstration where she took an iPod Classic that had the Invisible Shield installed and she ran a key across the screen back and forth. I nearly had a heart failure as I watched her abuse this poor defenseless iPod. When she was done she invited those watching to examine the iPod Classic. Sure enough, it looked unscathed. The salesman described what the Invisible Shield was made from and how it was installed. From what I could gather the film initially was developed for the military (what isn’t developed for the military these days) to protect the leading edge of helicopter blades from damage. I guess someone must have been sitting around staring at the helicopter one day thinking, “Hey, I wonder if I put that stuff on my iPod if it will protect it from flying birds and crazy salesmen with car keys?” Well however the conversation went, someone thought it was a good idea.
The Invisible Shield comes packaged with everything necessary to install it on the device. The film is laser cut specifically for each device that they support. It is designed to be a self-installed operation although the lady at the kiosk did say that they could install it for a nominal charge. Nominal in this case is roughly 50 percent of the total cost of the film kit. For a full body cover protecting all sides of the device it sells for $24.95 with installation being $10. If you just want to protect the front it is $14.95 with a $5 installation fee. I of course saw this product a week before the iPhone 3G was released so I didn’t get one. Besides I am pretty sure the mall cart didn’t have an iPhone 3G kit available at that time anyway. Since then the Invisible Shield kept coming back in my mind as I searched for a case or protection for my iPhone. I finally decided I would give it a try. Since there were no Invisible Shield dealers in Idaho I went to their web site and placed an order. The web site stated that they were on severe quantity limitations for the iPhone 3G and that I should expect delivery in approximately 2 weeks. I had the shield sent to my home address in Arizona since I figured I would be back for some time before they shipped. Today I was pleasantly surprised to find a package from Zagg that held my Invisible Shield for my iPhone. Looking over the packaging and the installation instructions I got a little nervous. It looked kind of like the instructions you get in children’s toys for putting stickers on the toys. Since I have never been able to get any of these stickers on the toys to actually stick or be put on straight I knew I was in trouble. I went out to their web site to see if I could find some suggestions or lessons learned. What I found were some very good videos that showed how to install the product. After several deep cleansing breathes and some positive affirmation quotations; I attempted the install. It was relatively painless and although it wasn’t perfect it did work for me. The touch screen appears to be just as sensitive as it was without the film and everything functions like I would expect. The texture of the device is no different. It no longer has a slick/smooth feel. It has more of a non-stick grip surface. That’s not a bad thing as the phone seems a little more solid in my hand now and I am not as worried about it slipping out of my hand. My first impression is positive and I am not thinking I will order an Invisible Shield for my iPod Touch.