Google seems to be making more of an effort to improve Wear OS 3 lately, fixing bugs and even adding new features. In fact, according to a member of Google’s team, a feature that’s been highly requested for years is on the way: support for left-handed users, albeit with a catch.
Confirmation of the feature was found on Google’s Issue Tracker site, where a Google employee stated “Our development team has implemented the feature you have requested and will be available on future new devices.”
So users can now rotate a compatible watch’s screen by 180 degrees and use it upside down if they need. However, that little detail shoved in at the end of the statement is disappointing and a bit of sand in the face to longtime users. Now, anyone wanting or needing to use the watch in left-hand mode will need to buy a new device.
Lefties rejoice: Google will finally add an option to rotate the screen in Wear OS by 180°. If you wear your smartwatch on your right wrist, this may come in handy. https://t.co/lM1fEmahKQ
H/T Ultra_HR on Reddit pic.twitter.com/dZWXfeKLjf
— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) January 11, 2022
If you scroll up to the top of that particular Google Issue Tracker thread, you’ll see that the feature was first requested in April 2018. That was nearly four years ago, and other users in that thread continued to inquire about getting the feature added after that. In the meantime, users have had to resort to using third-party apps to flip the interface.
We’re glad to see Google address the long-standing issue, but it’s one that should have been added years ago. Many of the folks who replied in that thread voiced their frustrations and even took the time to comment that they had abandoned Wear OS and switched over to an Apple Watch, which has supported left-handed use for years.
Still, though, progress is progress. The feature is here and a largely neglected demographic now has a way to more easily use their Wear OS device. While the brief statement didn’t suggest that there would be any left-handed support coming to current devices, we are hoping that it will, even if it just rolls out to newer devices first.