Do it yourself
    15 August 2018

    Drew Hook

    Settings for lefties

    With Left Handers' Day coming up on 13 August, we offer a few simple Android smartphone tips for easier left-handed use. 

    The touch and tap method of navigation employed by modern smartphones generally poses a challenge for left-handed users. Left-handers only make up about ten percent of the population, which means they typically have to use things made for the majority, i.e., right-handed people. These simple tips should help make your Android device more suitable for left-handed use, especially when using the device with one hand.

    First you need to get into your developer options, then you can enable the layout change. Here's how:

    • Go into Settings > About Phone.

    • Scroll down until you see "Build Number" and tap it seven times in quick succession. This will enable developer options (if they're not enabled already.)

    • Once your phone tells you you're a developer, hit the back button to go to the main settings.

    • At the bottom, right above About Phone, you'll now see "Developer Options" where it wasn't before. Tap it.

    • Scroll down and tap the box to enable "Force RTL layout direction".

    Your layout should instantly switch, giving your left thumb better reach to tap everything you need without so much strain. In addition, you'll see the layout direction of your home screen has changed, making the basic functions of your smartphone a whole lot easier.

    How to enable the one-handed keyboard on iPhone

    To use the one-handed keyboard on iPhone, you can enable it from the Settings section. If you don't see the feature in your Settings section, you're using a device that doesn't support one-handed keyboard (like iPhone SE or iPad), or you need to upgrade to iOS 11.

    Launch the Settings app on your iPhone.

    • Tap General.
    • Tap Keyboard.
    • Tap One Handed Keyboard.
    • Tap Left or Right depending on your preference.

    Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

    Drew Hook