The Apple Watch is one of the best iPhone accessories you can get, especially if your goal is to have easy access to the information you need throughout the day to stay productive. I’m sure someone would take issue with my characterization of it as an accessory, but the Apple Watch is still so intricately linked to your iPhone, that I don’t know how to think of it any other way.
Personally I love the Apple Watch for everything from getting notifications, responding to text messages, setting timers, having Siri set reminders, and even getting directions. I probably interact with my Apple Watch more than any other device, other than my iPhone.
Most people, however, wear their Apple Watch the wrong way. Don’t get me wrong, you’re probably wearing it exactly as Apple intended–and the way it always shows people wearing it in photos or commercials. In fact, you’re probably wearing it the way the vast majority of people are wearing it. I just think there’s a much better way.
Here’s what I mean. Most people, if they wear the watch on their left wrist, have the Digital Crown to the right. That’s the worst possible location.
I get why Apple put it there. If you wear a mechanical watch, that’s where the crown is located for a watch you wear on your left wrist. That’s fine, but it doesn’t mean it’s ideal for a digital watch.
On a mechanical watch, accidentally smashing the crown against the back of your hand has no effect at all on the functionality of the watch. For most mechanical watches, the crown locks into the case, making it so that inadvertent contact does nothing. It certainly doesn’t accidentally advance the time, for example.
On the Apple Watch, however, wearing it with the Digital Crown against your wrist introduces all kinds of poor experiences. I’m not necessarily suggesting that Apple designed the watch wrong, but I do think that the Digital Crown is a user input device that is especially prone to extraneous input in a way that can be distracting.
For example, no one wants to be accidentally summoning Siri just because they put their hand in their pocket and pressed on the crown for a second. It’s also pretty inconvenient to suddenly turn up the volume to an excruciating level on the podcast you’re listening to because the back of your hand brushed across the crown.
And, it’s not just accidental interactions that are a problem. Having the crown in the upper right of the display makes it harder to interact with. It’s not ideal for pressing or controlling things like volume, or scrolling through the interface. Your pointer finger isn’t meant for such things–it’s meant for pressing on the display.
Your thumb, on the other hand, is great for using the Digital Crown. And, when you wear your watch upside down, the Digital Crown is in exactly the right location for easy access with your thumb. That leaves your index finger available for interacting with the display without having to go back and forth.
If you interact with your Apple Watch a lot, this simple hack will make a huge difference. It makes it even more usable. For example, if you’re entering text using the swipe keyboard on the Apple Watch Series 7, the Digital Crown can be used to move the cursor through your text. Using your thumb is a much more ergonomic way to do that, and it feels much more reliable than moving your finger back and forth.
Overall, wearing your Apple Watch this way is especially useful on the Series 7, which has an even larger display. Even if you wear the smaller 41mm version, chances are your experience will be much better.
Thankfully, Apple gives you the ability to fix the problem. Simply wear the watch with the Digital Crown on the left side. There’s even a setting, Right next to the setting to tell your watch which wrist you’re wearing it on is another toggle to flip the display. When you do that, you literally wear the watch upside down, but the screen is displayed correctly. I promise you it will change your life–or at least change the way you interact with your Apple Watch.