Google to disable Home Mini top touch functionality after 24/7 recording issue

Mindy Sparks
October 12, 2017

We take user privacy and product quality concerns very seriously.

San Francisco: Google has chose to "permanently remove" the feature that led its smart speaker "Home Mini" accidentally record several times a day without being given any command from the user. They said that the issue stemmed from a touch control mechanism that was "behaving incorrectly".

Say "Ok Google" or "Hey Google " instead of tapping the top of Mini to control music, alarms, and timers.

While it's certainly conceivable that Google would be able to redesign the Home Mini's software to reject prolonged accidental activations, the bad optics of the situation somewhat forced its hand here.

After acknowledging an issue with the touch control of its new Home Mini device, which led to constant unintentional recording of pretty much everything being said around it, Google has chose to completely disable the feature. Shortly after the issue was brought to Google's attention on October 7, the company created a support page, rolled out a software update, and removed all correspondence with the device initiated with the top touch between October 4 and October 7.

The company said that it has made the decision because it wants people to have complete peace of mind while using Google Home Mini.

While the Google Home Mini retains its core function of being a voice-controlled smart speaker and home for Google Assistant, it does lock uses into only one mode of control for the device. You can still adjust the volume by using the touch control on the side of the device. The Mini's left and right buttons will continue to work for adjusting the volume. The basis for the elimination of top touch is chronicled in a post published Tuesday by Android Police reviewer Artem Russakovskii.

This was clearly a mistake - but the optics of the situation are terrible for Google. Virtually every device at the October 4 event lauded Google Assistant as a selling point. Now, you'll have to do so by saying "Hey Google" or "OK Google", which is fine. We're sure you have some opinions - let us know in the comments!

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

Discuss This Article