Yesterday, Google confirmed that one of the Home Mini’s features — the ability to trigger Assistant by tapping on the top of the speaker — was defective on a select number of units. As the bug was causing the smart speaker to essentially listen and record its surroundings 24/7, Google quickly pushed out an update to disable this feature.
Google has now reached out to let us know that it has permanently removed the Assistant-specific touch functionality and will not bring it back…
Google released the following statement on yesterday’s events and its plans with the Home Mini going forward:
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.
As the statement explains, not all of the Home Mini’s touch-sensitive features are being removed. While the Assistant trigger is no more, you can still tap on either side of the unit to manually adjust the speaker’s volume. Unfortunately, however, there isn’t any word on if touching the top will stop the Assistant from talking mid-sentence like it currently does on the regular Home.