For those who like wearing their smartwatches on their right wrist, it’s not always that comfortable or easy since the buttons are still on the right side and the screen can’t be rotated. But it looks like Google is bringing an improvement to the smartwatch platform or at least they’re working on it for a future update. The feature request for a rotate screen option on Google’s issue tracker was already marked as “resolved” although with a disclaimer that it will come to future devices.
A Reddit post showed a screenshot from Google’s issue tracker, marking the request for screen orientation and rotation for Wear OS. This was actually initially posted back in 2018 and there’s a long thread of comments and second-the-motions, mostly from left-handed users. Then last January 11, the item was “marked as fixed”. Someone from Google said that the development team has already implemented the feature.
The caveat in the statement is that it “will be available on future new devices”. If you take it at face value, that’s not very good news for those who have been waiting for this feature a long time. It seems that you would need to buy a new Wear OS smartwatch if this is a feature that you want. And from the reaction of the people on the thread, this is not a welcome development as most of them probably still have a functioning smartwatch and are not looking to upgrade anytime soon.
But it may also be possible that the feature will become eventually available for smartwatches that are running on Wear OS 3.0. This will be more ideal although there are only a few smartwatches that are running on that version. And if you’ve been waiting for four years for the rotate screen option, chances are you have an older smartwatch so this will still not be applicable. So the only way to make users happy is to roll it out to even older versions, but this is pretty unlikely.
We’ll have to wait for an official announcement from Google to find out the details of this rotate screen option. In the meantime, there are those who have been able to live without this and may continue to do so unless they want to upgrade to a new Wear OS-powered smartwatch.