Google permanently removes top touch from Google Home Mini over security concerns


The Google Home Mini is shipping out to customers on October 18th, but it’ll arrive without a crucial feature. A few days ago Android Police reported on an issue with their preview unit that saw the device recording 24/7 regardless of keywords being uttered or not. They reported the issue to Google and Google was speedy to resolve the bug, but at the expense of being able to touch the top of your Google Home Mini.

You’ll no longer be able to tap your Google Home Mini to disable the alarm or timer, play/pause music, or use the touch interface in any way. You can still adjust the volume by using the touch control on the side of the device, but your primary method of interacting with the Google Home Mini will be voice commands.

Here’s the official statement from Google:

We take user privacy and product quality concerns very seriously. Although we only received a few reports of this issue, we want people to have complete peace of mind while using Google Home Mini.

We have made the decision to permanently remove all top touch functionality on the Google Home Mini. As before, the best way to control and activate Google Home Mini is through voice, by saying “Ok Google” or “Hey Google,” which is already how most people engage with our Google Home products. You can still adjust the volume by using the touch control on the side of the device.

There’s been some speculation as to the cause of the 24/7 listening. Some have suggested that the fabric top of the Google Home Mini could be causing phantom touches that keep the units activated despite voice commands.

Did you pre-order a Google Home Mini? Let us know in the comments.
Writer, gamer, and classical music whistler. I have an undying love of indie games and unique apps.

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