The present technology provides a device for applying films to displays or other surfaces of apparatuses such as phones and tablets, for example. The device includes a frame and a multi-layer pad including an adhesive film. The pad is coupled with the frame along an edge. The frame can be clamped or otherwise coupled with the apparatus. When properly coupled, the frame and the apparatus register with a certain tolerance and the film registers easily with the apparatus when taut and laid down beginning distal of the edge that is coupled with the frame while the film close to the edge remains slightly elevated from the apparatus to facilitate the application process. The whole film can then be pasted onto the apparatus using a suitable spatula, for example. The device allows for reliable registration between adhesive film and apparatus and reduces inclusion and bubble formation during application.