Google Home Mini Firmware Update Restores Touch Controls Previously Disabled Over Privacy Concerns

Google’s Home Mini is originally a smart speaker which has received an update that brings back some of the touch-based controls that the company had to disable shortly after its initial release back in October. Here are the details.

Home Mini is undoubtedly the most affordable Google’s Smart Speaker to have AI Assistant support. Actually, Google had disabled the touch sensor as the smartphone speaker was when accidentally recording everything on random situations to which later the search giant promised to roll out a fix, and today with the release of a new firmware update, which finally hits the software update section.

Google was otherwise forced to turn off the built-in touch panel, which is designed to let users activate Google Assistant with a long press instead of a voice command. After a reviewer discovered that some of the device’s functionality were registering “phantom touch events,” it was forced to be disabled.

The issue meant that some Minis were prone to recording conversations and sounds even when no “OK Google” voice command was spoken. Immediately prompting privacy concerns, as a result, Google opted to disable the touch features completely for a time being. including single-tap functions that played and paused music, snoozed alarms, and end phone calls.

The touch sensor functionality with the latest firmware update is coming back with small tweaks. It only requires you tap the top of the Home Mini and that too, you’ll be able to long-press the side, instead.

The issue was acknowledged by Google saying that only a small number of Home Minis has a touch sensor calibration issue that made Home Mini triggered on its own. With the new firmware update v1.29, it reinstates some of that single-tap functionality. But via a side long-press instead.

All the touch functions are now coming back in the form of long-press on the side which let you play/pause music, end calls, and even silence alarms without speaking to the AI enabled device. And what’s not work is, it won’t trigger voice input as it was earlier with the touch control.

Once downloaded and installed the update, Google Home Mini owners will again be able to do everything they did previously. However, users still won’t be able to trigger voice input using touch, because the top long press functions remain disabled.

The software tweak is being rolled out in the preview firmware channel, which Home Mini owners can join via the Home app settings, and if they don’t want to wait around for the automatic update. Head over to the settings and install the update manually.

(Via: AndroidPolice)

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