Very late 2 cents. I love the empirical testing that you’ve done, and the design decision makes sense on a macro level. Individual preferences don’t live on a macro level, and I’d prefer to have the possibility to chose myself which option I prefer.
My problem with the new design is probably because I got used to the old way of doing it. I feel the new way is inconsistent with other actions across different activities (e.g. swipe up/down still exists for alarm, and swiping left for accessing the homepage from pretty much any other place).