I'm designing a bilingual app in the Middle East that's in both Arabic and English.

I know that part of localizing an app is flipping the content (among other things). My question is, do you flip the content only or do you flip the entire app controls too?

Original English

Only content flipped

Everything flipped

So in the second screen only the content in the white space is flipped and the title. In the third screen, the back button is placed on the right side and an action button is placed on the left.

Any thoughts from any Arab brethren or Jewish cousins on this would be very helpful. If you have any feedback about the development too and whether something is doable in iOS but not done in Material or any such difficulties, then I'd really appreciate it.

1 Answer 1


The third screen is correct. When using right-to-left languages the Layout should appear mirrored. RTL Apple docs

Types of controls and content that should not flip in a right-to-left >language are:

  • Video controls and timeline indicators
  • Images, unless they communicate a sense of direction, such as
  • arrows
  • Clocks
  • Music notes and sheet music
  • Graphs (x– and y–axes always appear in the same orientation)

You can find more information (also for development) in the Apple Developer Docs.


  • Thanks for that. You're right, it's very commonplace in web implementations, but is it the same in mobile?
    – Tarek
    Commented Jun 15, 2018 at 23:43
  • 1
    Yes, also for mobile.
    – rhauger
    Commented Jun 16, 2018 at 17:22

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