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Making the case for smartphone protection [Telegraph-Herald (Dubuque, IA)]
[January 28, 2013]

Making the case for smartphone protection [Telegraph-Herald (Dubuque, IA)]

(Telegraph-Herald (Dubuque, IA) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Dear PropellerHeads: I just got my daughter a smartphone. I think she needs to use some kind of protective case; she's resisting. What do you think Answer: I thought you were the parent. Maybe you need to act like one. You just gave your princess an expensive, sophisticated, mobile computing device. I think she can put up with a cover to help protect it.

Hmmm, maybe I should start over.

My guess is that your wonderful, responsible, daughter already has been shopping for just the right phone case. She pleads she will just die if you don't buy her a blush Otterbox (otterbox.com) case. They are all the rage.


These chic, albeit bulky, protective cases have the right mix of solid protection and cool status. Problem solved.

That's better.

Phone and tablet cases can help ensure that the fumble-fingered drop will not turn into an electro-tragedy. While many of today's devices can handle the occasional jolt, the likelihood of the screen fracturing from a drop is high, and it will be expensive to fix.

The large variety of distinctive case colors and shapes also can help you find your device in a flash if you have laid it down somewhere.

Yes, you can buy insurance for your new device, and maybe you should. But you might want to read the fine print to see what is covered and what the deductible will cost you.

Even if you have insurance, a case can help keep your device like new and help avoid an expensive hassle.

The bottom line is that if you have a smartphone or tablet, you need a case. Even the sleekest of the cases can offer significant protection. Some provide nice utility functions like "wake-up" features when opened or integrated keyboards.

Cases for phones can run from $10 to more than $100. Tablet cases will likely set you back at least $40 and can go much higher as you add functions, leather and more. You can shop for these at your phone store (Verizon, Apple, etc.), a local retailer like Best Buy or online at places like Zagg.com or Amazon.com. You might check out Zazzle.com where you can create pretty cool custom cases.

If you have an iPhone, check out this nice review at PC Mag (bit.ly/P5GVWy). Many of the cases are available for other phones.

Before you buy anything, I recommend either checking out someone else's or trying it first. If you can't, make sure you can return it if you are not pleased.

Some will want to opt for a screen cover. These are thin, clear adhesive membranes that you place onto the screen. I think many can do without because the glass used on today's phones and tablets is very hard and scratch-resistant such as Gorilla Glass (corning- gorillaglass.com). But if you throw your phone into a purse with your change and keys, you might want to consider a screen cover.

I use one for my phone but must advise that you will lose some of the clarity of your screen display. Also, they are a bit tricky to install. Check out the nice CNET review at cnet.co/vs85iT before you buy.

I know, part of this just doesn't make any sense. The phone and tablet designers have created these beautiful functional works of art. It was probably one of the reasons you chose the one you did. Then, you go and wrap it with a cover that hides much of its beauty. It is a tragedy - but it averts another. Just chalk it up as one of life's little compromises.

When the PropellerHeads at Data Directions aren't busy with their IT projects, they love to answer questions on business or consumer technology. Contact them at questions@ask thepropellerheads.com or Data Directions Inc. 8510 Bell Creek Road, Mechanicsville, VA 23116. Visit www.askthepropellerheads.com.

(c) 2013 ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved.

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