Google Kills Google Home Mini's Top Touch Functionality


Earlier this week, Google said it was disabling the touch panel input with a software update for those early users that were affected.

But Russakovskii discovered that his Mini was listening in on him even when he hadn't pressed the device's button or said, "OK Google". Something creepy happened two days later, when Russakovskii noticed that the device is getting activated repeatedly and recording randomly.

After Tesla CEO Elon Musk expressed his concern for privacy with Google Clips, the #Google Home Mini smart speaker is also getting a feature disabled because of similar concerns.

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Artem Russakovskii of Android Police reported that the Google Home Mini he was reviewing was randomly and nearly constantly recording sounds in his home and transmitting them to Google.

While it is commendable that Google carried out this patch so promptly and was open about it, it could also be due to the fact a leading blogger exposed the issue.

The company removed activity/queries that were created by long pressing the top of a "Google Home Mini" between October 4 and October 7 with a software update.

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This will likely affect some of the functionality of the Google Home Mini as the touch surface was meant to be used to control the speakers volume and media playback functions, among other things, as an alternative to voice-based commands. 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. Now, you'll have to do so by saying "Hey Google" or "OK Google", which is fine. The company assures that only some of the devices given out during the event were affected, while the pre-ordered Home Mini devices are safe to use. It's available on the side of the product.

Google unveiled the $50 Mini, which goes on sale on October 19, at its event last Wednesday. All clips that the device recorded are gone now.

Google is "permanently removing" a feature of the Google Home Mini that let it listen in on some users thousands times in a day. The problem appeared to be caused by the failure of the touch sensor on the top. No one knows as orders haven't shipped yet.

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