You’ve heard the stories. You just didn’t think it would happen to you. That is, until that fateful day when you accidentally dropped it from a high enough height, and inauspicious dark cracks emerged from the corner of your iPhone screen. Good news is, your iPhone still works. The bad news, however, is that your iPhone screen is now broken – maybe forever because you don’t have Apple Care and you can’t afford to have it replaced. How do you go on living?
As tragic as it is, you don’t need to get a replacement just yet. One in four iPhone users walks around with a broken screen. How do they do it? Here's how:
The first step is always the hardest, but if you’re short for a replacement screen or phone, you have to learn to deal with it. Your iPhone screen is broken, and unless you have time-travel powers, you can’t undo the deed. Sure, the first few days will be annoying with all the cracks that keep getting in the way of pretty much anything that you used to do on your iPhone, but with some persistence, you’ll get used to it. The important thing is the thing still works, and portion of the screen Just pray to the iPhone gods that this doesn't happen right after you've signed your contract.
Use a Screen Protector or Clear Packing Tape
You already broke your iPhone screen. Don’t make it worse by getting tetanus from the little shards of glass that will be part of your life for the next few days. Save yourself the trouble and place a screen protector on your iPhone screen to keep the rest of it from falling apart. If you can’t afford a screen protector because you’re that broke (duh), wrap your iPhone with some clear packing tape. That way, you can still use it like normal and not worry about getting cut every time you play Candy Crush.
You think people are judgmental now? Wait till you break your iPhone screen. As if you’re not already painfully aware that your iPhone is hard to use right now, people will come up to you and point out the obvious. “You know you’re screen’s broken, right?” It appears a broken iPhone screen is a great conversation starter. Be prepared to have this sort of engagement many – and I mean many – times. And the people that don’t ask but look at you funny? If they don't think you're too broke to have your screen fixed, they think you're a klutz. Either that or they think you're both.
Get Your Story Memorized
Strangers, they’ll judge you. Your friends and family, however, they’re a whole other story. Because not only will they judge you, they'll get you to recount the painful moment you broke your iPhone's screen. Expect some rude and scathing comments, especially from your closest friends.
Be prepared to do this for a while, at least until everyone in your life knows that you have a broken iPhone screen. It's best just to memorize your story. Include details for dramatic effect. You're allowed to exaggerate now and then. You've earned the right.
Get Used to Misreading and Typos
If you’re living with a broken iPhone screen, typos and squinting real hard are now a regular part of your reality. Different users have different experiences on this issue, depending on where the cracks are on their screens. But everyone suffers to some degree. Don’t be surprised when your friends tell you they didn’t get what you texted them. It's probably because you misspelled "our" and typed "out," or your "if" became "of," or you typed in "cat" instead of "car." Hey, it's not your fault you couldn't read because of the cracks. Or maybe it is since you dropped your phone in the first place? Hmm…
Use a Creative Wallpaper
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. If you crack your iPhone screen, the least you can do is make the most of the situation and make it look cool. What do I mean? I mean this:
There’s no shame in walking around with a cracked iPhone screen if it looks this neat. You can find tons of creative wallpapers online specifically designed for cracks at particularly vulnerable places on your iPhone’s screen. Find one that matches your little “mishap,” and voila! Why would anyone want to fix something as cool as that?
Of course, there are other things to do than just dealing with the cracks and getting used to having a broken iPhone screen. If you’re proactive enough, there are practical things you can do after you turn your screen into a permanent kaleidoscope.
Borrow/Use a Temporary Phone
Do you still have your old phone around? Try taking your sim card from your iPhone and placing it on your old phone. Sure, it might not be as powerful or as handy as your current iPhone, but at least its screen is whole. Unless, of course, you bungled this one, too. If you did, you might want to borrow any old phone from your friends. Unless, of course, you don’t have any.
Try to DIY
So you managed to get your hands on some money to buy a replacement screen. Good. Now, if you believe you have the acumen to repair it yourself (or if you’ve somehow done this before), then do so. You save money by cutting out the middleman. Of course, if you mess up this up, forget your broken screen, say hello to your broken iPhone. So, yeah, this isn't risk-free.
Ask Someone to Repair it for You
But why DIY if you know another guy? If you happen to know somebody with the know-how who will do your repairs for you for cheap or for free, call them. It's much less expensive than Apple Care or having it fixed on the Apple Store. And don’t forget to send them a gift on Christmas.
I would be remiss if I didn't put in at least one useful tip, wouldn’t I? You can remove the cracks on your screen without replacing it with a product called Sugru, a kind of mouldable glue that works like a strong binding agent. Fortunately, it can also re-set broken pieces of glass together, like on the image below:
Note that you should only use the product on the cracked glass portions of your screen that don’t overlap with the LCD/LED. You can try, but that area. So yeah, it’s not a perfect solution, but at least you can get rid of some of the cracks. Read the full tutorial here.
You read that right. Grab your favourite brand of toothpaste and generously apply the substance on the surface of your shattered screen. Be careful of small pieces of glass that might stick to your fingers while you do so. It won’t make the cracks go away, but it will make them less noticeable.
A little caution goes a long, long way, so the saying goes. But if you do crack your iPhone screen, it's not the end of the world. And if you find it's not so bad, go on with life. Why fix something you could live with?