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iPad 2 Smart Covers – Not So Smart on Keeping the Screen Clean

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I’ve been using an Apple Smart Cover for my iPad 2 since Day 1 of owning it. Not so much because I love the smart cover – as I’ve said before, I have very mixed feelings about it. I’m using it constantly because all the iPad 2 cases that I want are not yet available – I’ve got three on order, but none has shipped yet, and Apple and other retail outlets near to me have either zero or very limited options for 3r party case for the iPad 2.

So for now my iPad 2 uses just the smart cover ( a navy blue leather one) and front and back screen protectors from Ghost Armor.

One of the things that is touted by Apple about the smart cover is its ability to keep your iPad 2 screen looking sharp:

And since the microfiber lining gently buffs off any smudges or fingerprints as you move, iPad always looks good on arrival.

Now that I’ve had a few weeks of usage with the smart cover, I’m finding this really isn’t true.

The smart cover’s microfiber lining may be helping to reduce smudges and fingerprints on my iPad 2, but the cover itself is increasingly a magnet for little specks of dust and dirt that end up on the iPad 2’s screen. By now, I very rarely open the smart cover and see a really clean iPad screen.

Now of course I could spend some time cleaning the smart cover, and likely reduce the dirt and dust that I’m seeing. That seems pointless and like defeating the purpose to me though. It’s far easier to just use a good microfiber cleaning cloth to keep the screen itself clean.

What do you all think? Is your smart cover really keeping your iPad 2 screen looking good without any extra effort on your part?


Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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16 thoughts on “iPad 2 Smart Covers – Not So Smart on Keeping the Screen Clean”

  1. I skipped the smart cover altogether. My new iPad2 Dodo case arrives Tuesday, and then the RadTech STM Skinny gets here by Friday. I think I’m going to like the latter a lot more than the former.

  2. The smart cover sort of keeps the screen a little bit clean, but after a while you can see where the ribs in the cover are located as those sections of the screen are not as clean. Instead I use the Mobile Cloth for a quick wipe down and is very effective.

    1. Same issue here…three ‘lines’ of dirt appear where the ribs are…pretty disappointing given the price tag on the smart covers.

  3. I just purchased a Smart Cover after trying an awful, too-early-to-market leather cover from Griffin. I’m rather impressed with how well the Smart Cover stays attached, but agree with you regarding the exaggerated claim regarding how it cleans the screen just by closing it. Actually, I never gave much credit to the claim and carry the same cleaning cloth I had for my iPad 1. I assume someone will market a product that will offer protection to the back for use with the Smart Cover. I do like the thin design without an additional wrapping, though. I’ve actually placed four small, self-adhesive felt pads onto the back to keep it from being scratched when I place it down. This seems to work well, although it doesn’t provide any protection against an accidental drop. I guess I’ll just have to be careful until something better comes along.

  4. I didnt get the smart cover but I never believed the whole cleaning bit from the start. I just thought to myself, “how?” If the cover goes on and off flat and there is no wiping or rubbing motion to apply it then how is it possible. It reminded me of those crazy heavy duty paper towel commercials where the cloth on the right is placed on a spill and when it’s picked up it cleaned more than the cloth on the left that’s has Been scrubbing away.

  5. Honestly, I don’t notice ANY difference in the cover keeping my screen clean. I mean, If I wipe it down, and then close the cover, sure, it’s clean when I open it again, but as far as the cover “buffing” away any smudges or fingerprints… No, not at all.

  6. I find that its ability to clean the screen is move of a silly marketing bullet rather than a practical one based in reality. In fact since the Smartcover in its “stand” mode rolls up with the microfiber lining facing out, I find it actually works well in picking up crud on the table top to deposit on the iPad’s screen when I close the cover.

  7. I think it’s pretty clear that the cleaning claims were just a reach by Apple marketing and should have been omitted. I actually like the microfiber design. While I use a BestSkinsEver screen protector, I think it is a nice touch to have a gentle, non-abrasive material on the underside of a case that will hug the screen so tightly. I don’t know why Apple didn’t just tout that as a feature.

  8. I found a nice brown leather Targus case from Best Buy for $20. It’s a sleeve type case that was designed for the iPad 1 but fits the iPad 2 perfectly. Build quality is amazing and I can freely throw my iPad around in my backpack, car, etc without worrying about damage.

    Best Buy has it on their website right now on sale. Check it out, definitely one of the nicest cases I’ve ever seen and for only $20!!!!

    1. Cool. I’ve heard several people say good things about that one. My local store has never had any in stock when I’ve checked, will take a look online.

  9. Just use one of those cloths that you get with a pair of glasses. At least until they come out with a very tiny Swiffer…

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