Best Practices: Using Google Accounts with AVA Devices


AVA remotes and streamers use services from Google for some of their capabilities. These services require a Google account. Your clients’ existing Google accounts will have access to their private information. So, to protect your clients’ privacy, you must always use a Google account that is separate from their personal Google accounts. Understanding the concepts in this article enables you to implement AVA products according to your clients’ needs.


Key Points

  • Never use an existing, personal account for AVA devices.
  • Create a single Google account for each customer site, and use that Google account on all AVA devices at the site.

AVA and Google Accounts

Why a Google Account is Necessary

The surprising interoperability you get with AVA products results in part from leveraging Google accounts. Some important services used by AVA products are:

  • Google Play Store lets you install Android apps on AVA remotes, and ensures that apps stay up to date automatically.
  • Find My Device lets you cause an AVA Remote to play a sound and can even provide the geolocation of an AVA Remote
  • Multi-room Cast enables Android, Apple iOS, Mac, and Windows devices to stream audio directly from almost any app to an AVA Streamer with no intermediary platform (such as Heos or Sonos).

These services require a Google account. So, as the pro for your client, you must know how to put Google accounts to use properly.

Don’t Use Personal Google Accounts for Smart Home Devices

It’s rare to find a client who doesn’t already have a Google account. Anyone who uses Gmail, YouTube, or an Android smartphone or tablet has one. These personal Google accounts have access to data that should be kept private: email, text messages, viewing history, topical preferences, browsing history, login credentials, and so on. No one wants to share such data with other household members, let alone their guests, service staff, and maintenance people.

In short: do not use an existing personal account when setting up AVA devices for your clients.

Create a Google Account for Each Client’s Home

Each client site needs a only one Google account for all AVA products at that site. Create one account, then use that account’s login credentials for all AVA products in the home. Keep a record for these credentials in a secure password manager.

💡 Tip Define a naming convention so that you can easily identify the client for each Google account you create. Example An integrator called Total AV with a client on 22 Skidoo St might come up with as a pattern that is unlikely to be already in use as a Google account.


More on How AVA Products Use Google Accounts

AVA Remotes

You can turn an AVA Remote into a remote for Sonos,, Crestron, and any number of other systems. You just download the app for that system from the Google Play Store and connect. Accessing the Google Play Store requires a Google Account.

The Google Account used for the Play Store enables these other apps and services on an AVA Remote: email (Gmail), texts (Google Messages), browsing history (Chrome), passwords (Google Password Keeper), and a number of other services that come with built-in apps on the Android platform. AVA remotes includes these other apps in order to get certified by Google.

By creating a Google Account for the home instead of using a personal Google account, you avoid putting personal information on a remote.

Never Put a Lock on a Remote Control

But why not just lock the remote with a PIN-code or finger print? This is totally possible with an AVA Remote, but in almost every case it creates a bad user experience.

Remote controls should be ready to use by anyone. Features meant to secure a personal mobile phone—such as PIN codes, passwords, and fingerprint sensors—block a person from using a remote control. You should never have to unlock a remote in order to adjust the lights, pause the music, or skip a song.

AVA Streamer

The AVA Streamer enables your clients to use native apps—like Pandora, TIDAL, or Apple Music—to stream to any audio zone in their home. No additional software or platform is required. The multi-room Cast protocol makes this possible.

You configure Cast using a Google account and the Google Home app. You set names for each audio zone, name groups of zones, and sometimes fine-tune zone settings (such as audio delay) through Google Home.

Just as with AVA Remote, you should use a single, non-personal Google Account to configure all AVA Streamer devices in a home. Use the same account as used on the AVA Remotes in the home.

Google Assistant for Voice Control (Option)

Optionally, your client can use Google Assistant from an Android phone or tablet for voice control of music with AVA Streamer.

To enable Google Assistant, use the Google Home app to invite the client’s personal Google account(s) to become a member of the Google Home household. For information on how to do this, see “Invite members to a home” on this page.

⚠️ At the time of this writing (June 1, 2023 1:39 PM (PDT)), each member of a household can use the Google Home app to name audio zones, modify groups of zones, and change other settings. Role restrictions are an anticipated feature for Google Home.

Conclusion: Best Practice for Google Accounts

So what should you do? The summary for the above information is:

  • Create one Google account for each customer home. This account should not be an account used for anyone’s personal messaging, email, or other data.
  • Use this single, non-personal Google account for every AVA product in the home.
  • Save the Google Login credentials in a password manager (such as 1Password).

The “Do Not” Items

  • Do not put a customer’s personal Google account on an AVA Remote. This would put the customer’s privacy at risk.
  • Do not use your own personal Google account to set up a client’s AVA Remote. This would put your own privacy at risk.
  • Do not share a Google account between different customers’ homes. It may seem an easy shortcut, but it would expose information between customers’ homes.