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

Left handed Wear OS users, this is for you
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Google has made a change to Wear OS, so it’s easier for left-handed people to wear and use.

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

Unlike Apple Watch, there has historically been no 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, that are positioned on the right-hand side of the case.

If you’re familiar with Wear OS it probably won’t surprise you to know that the left hander issue has been in Google’s Issue Tracker since 2018.

That’s now been fixed – but there’s a catch. If you read the feedback literally, the feature will only be available for new Wear OS watches, which means it won't show up up in Wear OS 3.0 and roll out to existing smartwatches such as the Fossil Gen 6 or TicWatch Pro 3.

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

That response has incensed those tracking the issue, and many see it as a basic accessibility feature.And there doesn’t seem to be a good reason why the feature will only roll to new smartwatches.

It’s entirely possible that the engineer or moderator charged with posting on the board isn’t fully aware of the situation, or plans for its implementation. We’ve reached out to Google to see if we can get some more clarity about the situation.

Previously, some of the orientation issues were covered by a third party Wear OS app called Lefty. However, that app isn’t able to reconfigure hardware buttons or reverse the scroll of digital crowns.

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


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James Stables


James is the co-founder of Wareable, and he has been a technology journalist for 15 years.

He started his career at Future Publishing, James became the features editor of T3 Magazine and T3.com and was a regular contributor to TechRadar – before leaving Future Publishing to found Wareable in 2014.

James has been at the helm of Wareable since 2014 and has become one of the leading experts in wearable technologies globally. He has reviewed, tested, and covered pretty much every wearable on the market, and is passionate about the evolving industry, and wearables helping people achieve healthier and happier lives.

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