Google announced that future Wear OS watches will be able to be worn backwards, which is perfect for left-handed people who wear their watch on their right wrist.
Today’s Wear OS watches should be worn in a specific orientation, on the left wrist with the crown – if there is one – facing right for easy access by the right hand. While there’s certainly nothing stopping someone from wearing a Wear OS watch on their right wrist, the buttons and crown will be in an inconvenient place where your hand would block the screen.
Meanwhile, some would in fact prefer that the buttons are in the “wrong” place, facing their arm rather than their hand. For those, the claimed advantage is that the side buttons of the watch are not pressed down when you fold your hand, such as when doing exercise or yoga.
For both of these cases, the answer would be to simply wear the watch backwards the way the manufacturer intended. Left-handed watch owners could use their controls without blocking the screen and those who are right-handed could flip their watches to avoid pressing any buttons while exercising.
However, as it stands today, Wear OS does not support flipping a watch’s interface 180 °, despite the fact that fans and watch owners have been pushing for it in Issue. Google tracker since 2018. As shared by Ultra_HR on Reddit, Google has marked this long-standing issue as “Fixed” today, but with an unfortunate caveat.
Our development team has implemented the functionality you requested and will be available on future new devices.
From what we can tell, it looks like Google has successfully introduced the ability to flip the interface of a Wear OS device, but the new feature is currently only set to arrive on ‘future new devices’. . This means that the feature is unlikely to be part of the upcoming Wear OS 3 upgrade for current watches from Fossil and Mobvoi, nor does it appear to be coming to the Galaxy Watch 4 series.
Other than that, when Wear OS acquires the ability to be worn upside down, it will likely show up as a toggle in settings as smartwatches are too far out of place to properly detect which orientation is correct. This new feature can come with other interesting challenges as well, as Wear OS would also need to reverse the direction of scrolling of a rotating crown. It is possible that Wear OS can also reverse the position of the buttons on watches that have more than one button.
Meanwhile, for those who have a smartwatch today and want to wear it on their right wrist, third-party developers have already created a solution that works for almost all Wear OS watches, using accessibility features. Unlike a native Wear OS solution, however, this app cannot reverse button positions or scroll direction.
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