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My Ticwatch S2 notifies me when there are app updates available, which when tapped gives the option to update all or open (I have auto-update apps turned off). I picked open.

Notification from Google Play store, showing 2 new updates and 10 updates total pending Notification opened, showing the message with choices update all and open

However, instead of the expected 10 pending updates, I'm only shown 2:

Google Play Store showing updates available (2) with the updates being Messages and TicHealth

Note it shows 2 updates available (just barely visible at the top) and scrolling down just shows recently updated. When I checked each installed app individually, no other apps showed having an update (I'm not 100% the watch version of the Play Store does that, though).

This has been going on for a while. I've already tried:

  • Using "update all" instead of individually reviewing updates by hitting "open".
  • Clearing data for the Play Store, that cleared the list of recent updates and reset the settings for the Play Store back to defaults, but didn't solve the issue.

One thing I have noticed is that on the Play Store's main screen, it lists 8 apps on my phone that I don't have on my watch. Odd coincidence?

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Not a coincidence. The Wear OS 2.x device's Play Store shows the pending updates both on the Wear device and the phone. This is because Wear OS 2.x allows standalone wear apps, and they can be installed/updated independently from the phone apps.

Thus, if the notification says "X new updates, Y updates total are pending", it means there are X independent Wear apps to update, but a total of Y apps both on Wear device and phone to update. Updating all from the Wear device will only affect the independent Wear apps, so the user still needs to use the phone's Play Store to update the apps on the phone.

From Android Developers - Package and distribute Wear apps

Distribution to Wear 2.0 watches

On devices running Wear 2.0, when a user installs a phone app that has an associated watch app (either an embedded APK or an APK uploaded via the Play Console), the user gets a watch notification about the available watch app. Tapping the notification opens the watch Play Store, giving the user the option to install the watch app.

Additionally:

  • [...]
  • When you upload a watch APK via the Play Console, you can update your Wear APK independently from the phone APK, and users receive updates via the watch Play Store.
  • [...]

(Emphasis mine)

Previously on Wear OS 1.x (and before, i.e. Android Wear), wear apps are embedded in the phone apps. To update the wear apps, the user has to update the phone apps first, then the Play Store will install the embedded wear apps from the phone to the Wear device.

Also from the same article,

Distribution to Wear 1.x and 2.0 watches

The standard distribution model for Wear 1.x was embedding a watch app inside a phone app. [...]. When a user installs your phone app, if you have a compatible Wear app in the Play Store, it will automatically be installed on Wear 1.0 watches.


Additional note: Ticwatch S2 runs on Wear OS 2.2.

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  • Right now the notification is 1 new update, 9 updates total (on the watch). Just checked on the phone, there are 5 there. When I opened the play store (on the watch), there are actually 0. ☹ (BTW: The phone can produce a similar notification, on the phone, in which case "new" means since the last notification and "total" is higher if I've been holding off installing an update — so I had expected the similar notification on the watch has similar meaning.) – derobert Oct 24 '19 at 17:15
  • @derobert looks like you've updated some of the apps on phone and Wear device? Perhaps the notification is already stalled, try to clear the notification and wait for the new notification (if applicable)? I'm afraid I can't help further since the Wear OS and Google Play Store help centers don't provide much info either... – Andrew T. Oct 24 '19 at 17:23
  • I'll keep an eye out for the timestamp and see if that explains it. Good idea to check that. – derobert Oct 24 '19 at 17:31

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