Putting a ZAGG Screen Protector on my iPad

Last week, I got tired of seeing all these fingerprints form on my iPad screen and was also getting paranoid of scratching it, since I pull it in and out of my bag all the time. So I ordered a screen protector from one of the early providers of thin film screen protectors, ZAGG.
However, putting it on was a serious pain in the butt and the included instructions were totally bad because they were geared towards the iPhone version of the screen protector. So I thought I’d do a quick post on how to install the thin film screen protector without screwing it up.
On my first attempt, I did try to follow the directions. However here were the problems:
1. The film for an iPad is considerably larger than for a smartphone like an iPhone. Thus the tendency for it to flop around and stick to itself is much much greater.
2. Thus, in the instructions, it says to pull the whole thing off and lay it on your hand doesn’t work at all. I tried that and it immediately attempted to stick to itself, and then it basically turned into a mangled mess of stuck plastic. Believe me, you will never pull it off itself if it starts to stick.
Thankfully, I called up ZAGG and they sent me a new one as replacement, and I sent back the mangled, stuck to itself piece of plastic as proof of replacement.
3. ZAGG also ships it rolled up. This is also bad because it encourages the film to roll back on itself and thus stick to itself.
Here is a way to install it that works:
1. Turn off the iPad! Hit the top button and hold it until the slider appears on the screen to turn it off. Then turn it off before installing. This is because there is this spray they give you to help make it less sticky while you install the film. It is a fluid so you don’t want any of that getting inside your iPad while it’s still powered on. That could really be bad and it could short something out and destroy it.
2. Next roll the protective film the other way so as to flatten it out. Trying to unpeel it while it is still curled is a really bad idea and how mine turned into a mangled mess.
3. Now wash your hands and spray your fingers with that fluid. Hope it’s not toxic! But it’s supposed to reduce the possibility of imprinting fingerprints on the underside of the film.
4. I started peeling off the film from the bottom where the hole for the circular button is. I wanted to get that off first because I didn’t want to risk messing with not ripping the hole by accident later, and also risking having this floppy film stick to itself.
5. Once I got about an inch off, I started spraying it judiciously with the fluid to make it less sticky. Then slowly, I peel off a bit more, and then spray that also.
6. After getting about two inches off, I align the hole in the film with the button on the iPad, as well as the bottom edge of the film to the bottom edge of the screen. I make the edges as parallel as possible so that when I lay it down the sides will hopefully be aligned too.
7. As I lay the film down on the iPad, I peel back some of the protective paper, spray some fluid, and lay the film down. I use the plastic piece to smooth out air bubbles. Sometimes I need to raise the film and re-lay it down, and resmooth it with the plastic piece.
8. I work my way up the iPad screen, peeling back more protective paper, spraying fluid, and smoothing out air bubbles with the plastic piece until done.
I would not recommend taking the film completely off the protective paper first! Anything to prevent the chance of watching it fold on itself and stick!
9. Then any last bits of air bubbles I attempt to smooth out. I’m not perfect here and have some small remaining bubbles. Oh well.
At least now I don’t have a mangled piece of sticky plastic, but a nice film protector on my iPad.