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I want to talk to you about a very serious problem in the mobile industry. It’s an issue that has plagued the wide gamut of devices we talk about here, in this space. Phones, tablets, and now even cameras. It is an issue that, despite our most hopeful of dreams, it just doesn’t seem to be going away. It may be the most important issue that we may ever discuss when it comes to our favorite portable devices.

Yes, I’m talking about fingerprints.

But you already knew what I was talking about, didn’t you? Because you know that fingerprints are the bane of our touchscreen device’s existence. (Or, you probably got a hint from the title. Either way!) Late last year, Taylor Martin talked about how fingerprints and smudges could be a thing of the past sometime in the near future, and I firmly believe that we can all get behind that, right? After all, using our touchscreen devices is great, until you turn off the display and see what still lingers.

Up until very recently, I was always someone who used the back of their shirt to wipe off fingerprint marks or smudges. It was just the easiest option. No, it isn’t the best, and in some instances it could make a smudge worse, but it worked for the most part. I’ve had those microfiber cleaning cloths in the past, but I always tend to lose them. It’s a problem.

Each and every time I walk through the mall here, I get assaulted by a kiosk worker that works to try and put a screen protector on my phone. He talks about me dropping my device, and how scratches are the worst thing that could possibly happen to my phone. “What happens when you drop it, and you get that screen all scratched up!” he cries out to me as I walk passed him.

Well, that’s probably a good question. I’ve dropped phones in the past (who hasn’t?), but I’ve been lucky so far in that I’ve never scratched a display. I probably need to find some wood to knock on right now, or my brand new phone might pay the consequence for my words. Still, I’ve never enjoyed screen protectors, and I’m not thinking I’m going to start now.

Something this kiosk worker didn’t talk about, though, and something I just noticed off-handedly as I walked passed him again, was that this particular protector also “reduces fingerprints!” This isn’t the first time I’ve heard or seen such a claim, and there’s a small part of me that thinks it could be a good idea. Still, I just keep on walking, because paying someone to install a “top-of-the-line” screen protector just doesn’t jive with me.

I may have to eat my words, though, because with the Lumia 900, I’m noticing a lot of fingerprints. Way more than I did with the iPhone 4S, or even any of the phones I used before that. I thought, maybe, it’s the larger screen real estate, but I don’t think that’s it, entirely. The Galaxy Nexus’s display is bigger, and while it certainly found its own share of fingerprints, I don’t remember having to wipe it down as often as I am the Lumia 900.

Scratches are permanent, which does technically make them worse than smudges or fingerprints. But, considering I don’t get scratches as often as I get fingerprints on my display (where’s the wood!?), the latter issue is something I have to contend with way more often. And they’re so annoying.

Which is why I’m reaching out to you, Dear Readers. I want to know what you do to take care of screen smudges and fingerprints. Do you just ignore them and go about your business? Or do you carry some kind of cloth around with you on a daily basis, using a tool to indiscriminately wipe away those ephemeral blemishes? Help me out, here!


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33 Reactions to this post

"How do you deal with fingerprints?"


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Myron Black i use voice commands
Aaron Calhoun I have a zagg screen protector. Unless I have oil on my fingers it works pretty well.
Joe Yarger I cut my fingers off and use my toes.
Henry Quinn Miller Mark D Cox has the best prevention method.
Vicente Reyes Um, water and a T-shirt. No more issues till later in the day
Mark D. Cox Matte finish screen protector will fix it
Kaizer Joelle You wipe it?
Lewis Hall I use winter gloves! Haa lol what do you think
David DiPilla Wipe the screen with my shirt but I clean my phone like once a day
Adrian Anguiano Lol just wash your hands and your screen won't be dirty all the time, nasty people
Sulaiman John Wet tissues
Stian Grøtåsen Wipe it off obviously..........
Ryan Williams Wipe it down with alcohol
SS-Richel Amatali Clean it once and never touch the screen.just look at it.lol
David Otero I use my elbow to touch the screen!
Manuel Sabu Stare at it hoping it will remove itself.
Still Dre Dane cry my self to sleep
Ediben Yoonan I pee on it and clean it lol
David John Balbin i don't. I just leave it as it is.
Terry Nolting Spit shine. Best polish around.
Tabib Rehman Chop your fingers off
Mike Robinson call the CSI team and investigate
Gordon Christie its easy use the cloth you would use to clean spectacles and your breath to clean the glass screen works perfectly
Bret Pomai Yates Is this a real question
Jose Angel Santiago Spit and shirt lol
Nain El Fuego Romero I throw my phone away n buy a new one.
Matthew Hess Come on now...fingerprints and smudges...dealing with them? Whats next....how do you deal with the phone leaving skin impressions? LOL
Brian Edwards Perpetual shirt rubbing....
Ian Baylon Wipe it off with my shirt
Aaron Dean I tend to was my hands




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