Google may start updating apps that are pre-loaded on your new Android smartphone, automatically even without you logging into your account.
Most people, when they set up a new phone or do a factory reset, will log into their Google account so they can access the Play Store and other things. But, there are some that do not log into their account. Since the Play Store doesn't work without a Google account being logged into, it means that other pre-installed apps will not get updates. This is what Google is looking to change.
Google has already started emailing developers about this, stating that this is something it'll be testing in the coming months. Google also says in the email that users are going to be able to turn this off, if they wish too.
Not all developers are getting emailed, only those that need to take some action. This is mostly those that have apps that are "pre-loaded on various devices or OS versions". Google wants developers to verify that new versions of the app will work with or without a Google account – depending on the app. And Google also notes that this will only work with devices that shipped with Android Lollipop or later. Lollipop was released in 2015, so that is basically any device on the market these days.
The reason for this change is so that Google can give all users the same experience, whether they are using their Google account or not on the phone. This is important for non-Google apps that are on your phone too, especially if you bought a phone that was released a few months ago. As many of the apps on that phone likely has an update or two, which won't be installed until you log into the Play Store. By updating these apps automatically, it means that these apps will be up-to-date, improving everyone's experience.
It is worth mentioning that this is just a test at this point. It's not something that Google is going to be rolling out to everyone just yet. Google does these tests all the times, with different features and UX changes that it does across its many apps and services. And many of them never make it to users. So just because Google is testing these features, doesn't mean that it will be made available to everyone using a phone that has been Google Mobile Services certified.
The way this will likely work is, you can opt to uncheck a box during the setup process to keep apps from auto-updating without you logging into your Google account. And once you've gone through the initial setup, you'll see a notification in the status bar that is updating all of the apps on your phone. Now this isn't going to bother most people, except maybe those buying Amazon Prime devices. Since those do have Amazon's app store on-board. Those in China do not have the Google Play Store, so updating them automatically is not possible on that side of the world.