Smart watches

Google will finally improve smartwatches for left-handers – but only if you buy a new one

Google plans to add an option to its Wear OS smartwatches so they can be used by left-handers.

Spotted on Reddit by journalist Mishaal Rahman, a user had complained on Google’s Issue Tracker website that he could not properly wear his connected watch on his right hand.

“My Android Wear watch has buttons on one side. and I would like to wear the watch upside down on my other arm (I’m left handed.),” they wrote.

Four years later, a Google employee finally responded to the message. “Our development team has implemented the feature you requested and will be available on future new devices.”

Unfortunately, that means left-handers will have to buy a new smartwatch to benefit from the feature.

“Not very helpful for those of us who have been following this issue for the past few years,” one replied. “‘Good news! You can now use your smartwatch ambidextrously! Well, not your smartwatch, you need to buy a new one. Yes that’s ok. Your smartwatch is still useless.'”

There’s also no timeline for the feature to be added to Wear OS 3. Google said the new version of its wearable software will begin rolling out in the “second half of 2022,” giving left-handers a lot long to wait for a feature that many would have welcomed years ago.

Also, the list of watches that will receive this update is limited – only Mobvoi, TicWatch, Fossil and Samsung have been mentioned so far. Google is also reportedly working on launching its own potentially Pixel-branded smartwatch this year since acquiring Fitbit, but news about that is scarce.

The Apple Watch, on the other hand, has been offering a similar feature to users since 2019. Apple’s wearable is not compatible with Android devices.

Google did not respond to a request for comment from The Independent before the time of publication.