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Future Wear OS smartwatches will finally cater to the lefties of the world

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Lifestyle
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Lifestyle (Image credit: Chris Wedel/Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google is working on a feature that will let Wear OS users flip the display orientation by 180°.
  • The feature would give left-handed people better access to buttons when watches are worn on the right arm.
  • The feature will apparently be available for "future new devices."

Google has improved a lot about Wear OS, as we've seen with the Galaxy Watch 4, but one aspect of the wearable platform that has apparently gone untouched is an adjustable UI for the left-handed population. This is an option that has been available on Apple's WatchOS for some time but remains absent on Wear OS. However, it seems that a solution is in the works.

An entry in the Google Issue Tracker was discovered on Reddit (via Mishaal Rahman) with a user complaining that there's no option to rotate the screen orientation.

my android wear watch has buttons on one side. and i would like to wear the watch upside down on my other arm (i am left handed.)

The issue was created in 2018 (hence the reference to "Android Wear"). However, a Google employee finally responded on Tuesday with some exciting news, saying that the feature had been implemented and would be available on "future new devices."

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Being able to rotate the screen in such a way would be suitable for users that prefer to wear their Wear OS watches on their right hand, particularly left-handed users. That's because buttons are usually found on the right side of the device, which can make operating watch buttons a bit awkward.

As a result, this could open up the platform to more users that maybe have hesitated to buy a Wear OS watch for this reason.

However, as noted in the Google employee's response, the feature appears will be headed to "future new devices," which appears to indicate that it may not come to any of the best Wear OS watches on the market right now.

Rahman points out the Lefty (opens in new tab) Wear OS app that essentially provides this same function, although as noted by the reviews, your mileage may vary. However, this may do until Google releases an official option for left-handed users.

Still, it's good to know that it's coming.

Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.

3 Comments
  • I'm left handed and i didn't know i was missing out in life in relation to my watch. I still don't know what I'm missing out on.
  • Right handed people wear their watch on their left hand. On every Android watch, if not all watches, have buttons or dials on the right side of the watch.... That allows a right handed person to use their dominant hand to press right side buttons easily... A left handed person wear a watch on their right arm would have to reach across the face odlf the watch to touch the watch control buttons. Obviously, some watches like the G Shock have buttons on both sides of their watches.
  • I think he was being facetious. I'm not left handed, but those folks have been dealing with the watch issue for decades, maybe centuries. Regular watches never even had the option of flipping the display over, so lefties just accepted or got used to using them with the buttons differently. Some just wore the watch on their left wrists. This is a nice addition for the differently handed, but likely was never a serious issue.