Image: Hugh Threlfall
March 11 2012
If there is one flaw in the late Steve Jobs’s vision of a post-PC era, it’s that the iPad and other tablet screens get disgusting and smeary after a few minutes’ use. Apart from retreating to styluses, which are anathema to modern tabletry (although the brilliant Samsung Galaxy Note has one), there’s nothing anybody can do about it. The human finger leaves a trail like a snail’s; that’s the way it is. And, as with spectacles, once you get obsessed with cleaning an iPad screen, it’s impossible for it to be too spotless – even though it’s a Sisyphean task, because as soon as you’ve degreased, you immediately start messing your screen up again.
I stumbled on this Canadian aid for those of us with screen OCD at the IFA consumer electronics fair in Berlin, and it’s finally made it to the UK. The SideKick comes in a handy pocket container that keeps its pad pristine between uses. The pad is dry, but infused with a carbon compound similar to newspaper ink – and remember how good that is at cleaning glass. You can also – obviously – use the SideKick for mobile phones and laptop screens, although the latter tend to get gungy with contaminants other than fingery smudges.