Wear OS is now better for lefties – but there’s a catch

Google has changed Wear OS, so it’s easier to wear and use for left-handed people.

That’s according to a thread on Google Issue Tracker – where users report issues and bugs with Google products – spotted by Reddit users.

Unlike the Apple Watch, there’s never been a way to change the orientation of a Wear OS smartwatch, so it can be worn on the opposite wrist and have access to the side buttons and pushers, which are positioned on the right side of the Case.

If you’re familiar with Wear OS, it probably won’t surprise you to know that the left-handed issue has been on Google’s issue tracker since 2018.

This has now been fixed – but there is a catch. If you literally read the comments, the feature will only be available for new Wear OS watches, meaning it won’t appear in Wear OS 3.0 and won’t roll out to existing smartwatches like Fossil Gen 6 or TicWatch. Pro 3.

The Issue Tracker post read: “Our development team has implemented the feature you requested and will be available on future new devices.”

This answer has infuriated those following the issue, and many consider it a basic accessibility feature. And there doesn’t seem to be a good reason for the feature to only be extended to new smartwatches.

It is quite possible that the engineer or moderator responsible for posting to the forum is not fully aware of the situation or does not plan for its implementation. We’ve reached out to Google to see if we can get more clarity on the situation.

Previously, some of the orientation issues were covered by a third-party Wear OS app called Lefty. However, this app is unable to remap hardware buttons or reverse scroll digital crowns.

We’ll update this with any new information as we get it.

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