The Apple Watch raise-to-wake function won’t work on the right wrist by default, but users can adjust their preference in the settings.
Apple knew a that large number of people have a dominant left hand, so it built an option into the Apple Watch to allow it to be worn on either the left or the right wrist. It may not be immediately obvious why this is necessary, with watches typically being no different for right- or left-wrist wearing. It has to do with the ability to wake the Apple Watch by raising the arm that it’s worn upon, though.
About ten percent of humans are left-handed, which is to say, they are more skillful when tapping or manipulating objects with the left hand. Apple has sold approximately one hundred million of its incredibly popular Apple Watch, meaning around ten million of those users may prefer to wear it on their right wrist so that they can control it with their left hand.
Adjusting this preference is easy as watchOS includes an option for it in the Settings app. This can be done using the Watch app on the paired iPhone or directly on the Apple Watch itself. From the iPhone, the user can open the Watch app and tap ‘General’ in the ‘My Watch’ tab, then ‘Watch Orientation’ to see the options. From the Apple Watch, the owner can open the Settings app, then tap ‘General’ and ‘Orientation’. The choices are the same using either method. Simply select the left or the right wrist. Then, the Apple Watch will be able to detect the wrist raising action correctly and wake the screen. The raising movement also allows a brief opportunity to issue a Siri command without using the ‘Hey, Siri’ prompt, or holding the digital crown.
Wearing The Apple Watch Upside Down
When adjusting the Apple Watch orientation setting, it’s a convenient time to consider the second option found under that heading. Scrolling down a bit, the user will find a selection for digital crown placement. The choices are left and right. Of course, the crown is part of the physical hardware, so it can’t change sides. What can be done, however, is flipping the Apple Watch upside down. When doing so, it’s important to select ‘Left’ for the digital crown, which will rotate the screen 180-degrees.
For those wearing the Apple Watch on the right wrist, the crown would be more difficult to rotate if used in the default orientation. In truth, there is no up or down, right or left. It’s all a matter of software. Just as the iPhone and iPad can change orientations from portrait to landscape, the Apple Watch can flip the screen. The default settings are designed to work best out of the box for the majority of the population, who are right-handed and will likely wear the Apple Watch on the left wrist. For the other ten percent, a couple of settings adjustments customize the Apple Watch for easy operation.
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