How to Flip Screen Orientation on Smartwatch

When it comes to watches, Southeastern often gets the short end of the stick. Unless lefties buy a Destro watch, they will need to learn to wear watches on their dominant hand instead of the non-dominant hand as recommended. But this is not necessarily the case with all smartwatches. Because smartwatches have touchscreens, some watch makers offer the option to flip the screen orientation to the left so it appears “upside down.” This, in turn, gives users more control over where the watch’s buttons are, making the device easier to use when worn in the right hand.

While not every smartwatch allows you to switch the screen orientation, the two biggest players — Apple and Samsung — do. For Wear OS, you currently have to use third-party apps to rotate the screen – although Google is adding the ability to flip screen orientation on Wear OS watches in the future. Unfortunately, this is not currently possible on Fitbit Sense or Versa 3 or more recent Garmin devices.

But wait, you might say, didn’t my smartwatch inspire me to choose the wrist I plan to wear it on? Often, yes – this is something that many users are asked to do as soon as they turn on a new smartwatch. However, keep in mind that this does not always refer to the screen orientation. Typically, this signal is there to help the watch run the correct fitness tracking algorithm, depending on whether you wear your device on your dominant or non-dominant hand.

While it’s a shame that you can’t flip your screen orientation on every smartwatch, here’s how to do it on the Apple Watch and Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 lineup. If and when other smartwatch makers decide to enable this feature in the future, we’ll be sure to provide an update.

apple watch

Orientation menu on Apple Watch.
image: apple

Apple has long given users the ability to customize the screen orientation of their watch. You can tweak this setting from your phone or directly on the watch itself.

To flip the screen orientation using the clock:

  • navigate to Adjustment Application.
  • Scroll down and tap General,
  • scroll down orientation,
  • Choose from here on which wrist you want to wear the watch.
  • Then choose which side you want the Digital Crown to appear.

To flip screen orientation using iPhone:

  • open watch Application.
  • select the my watch tab.
  • to select General and tap view orientation,
  • Choose from here on which wrist you want to wear the watch.
  • Then choose which side you want the Digital Crown to appear.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic

Galaxy watch 4.  On button position render of menu

You can also change which side the buttons are on.
Image: Samsung

When Samsung first launched the Galaxy Watch 4 lineup last year, you couldn’t switch the screen orientation. This was a big problem if you wanted to use the new body composition feature and wear the watch on your right wrist. That’s because Samsung requires you to touch two fingers to a clock button in order to build a circuit for bioelectrical impedance analysis. While this was easy enough to do on the left wrist, the Southeasterner would have to reach all the way in an uncomfortable way to use the feature.

Thankfully Samsung has fixed this problem. Now, lefties or people who want to wear their watches on their right hand have the option of using the new feature without less than ideal button placement.

To flip the screen orientation:

  • navigate to Adjustment Menu on the clock.
  • tap Generalthen choose orientation,
  • choose your Left either Correct Wrist.
  • Once that is done, scroll down button position,
  • Again, choose whether you want the buttons to appear on the left or right.

Hopefully, we will see more smartwatches that will add the ability to customize the screen orientation in the future. This will not only help the Left but will also be useful from the point of view of outreach. And, as the saying goes, when you make a design accessible, you benefit everyone else as well.

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