Categories: News

Google has permanently disabled the top touch function on Google Home Mini

After privacy concerns were raised over the Google Home Mini yesterday, Google has updated their support documentation to advise the top touch on Google Home Mini will be permanently disabled.

The privacy concerns were raised by Android Police founder Artem Russakovski who found his Google Home Mini review unit was listening to and trying to respond to any and all chatter it heard without the key (Ok or Hey Google) keywords being spoken or the top of the unit being touched (which activated Google Assistant).

Google initially advised they would disable it via a software update, but has now advised the function will be removed in time for the October 15th launch.

Top touch functionality
We’ve decided to permanently remove all top touch functionality on Google Home Mini. We made this decision to avoid any confusion and give you complete peace of mind while using your Mini. The update will be completely rolled out by end of day October 15, 2017.

The good news is you get the same functionality using your voice.

Say “Ok Google” or “Hey Google” instead of pressing and holding the top of Mini to start a request.
Say “Ok Google” or “Hey Google ” instead of tapping the top of Mini to control music, alarms, and timers.

While the tap to engage Google Assistant is being permanently disabled, the touch sensitive volume controls have not, with Google advising ‘Mini’s volume controls haven’t changed. You can still control volume by side touch and voice.’

Will this be a ‘Permanent’ end to the touch sensitive top? Or will Google re-enable it down the track? Whichever way it goes we’ll be seeing the Google Home Mini in person quite soon hopefully.

Ausdroid's Editor in Chief
Daniel Tyson

Dan is a die-hard Android fan. Some might even call him a lunatic. He's been an Android user since Android was a thing, and if there's a phone that's run Android, chances are he owns it (his Nexus collection is second-to-none) or has used it. Dan's dedication to Ausdroid is without question, and he has represented us at some of the biggest international events in our industry including Google I/O, Mobile World Congress, CES and IFA.

View Comments

  • Says something when they can get speech recognition to work somewhat reliably, but not a hardware button.

    Maybe they can release a v1.1, fixing the hardware button and adding the missing audio out?

  • I'm not sure I'll buy this now - disabling ALL top touch functionality, including stopping music, alarms etc is a big downgrade in functionality

  • Given that the home mini lacked an Aux input or Bluetooth functionality like the competition, wonder whether this make Google reconsider price. That being said the competition is only available in the US.

    What a debacle, considering they have probably begun production runs and now they to put something in place in regards to existing manuals, packaging etc.

    • Amazon Echo is certainly available outside the US, and shortly will most likely be here (when Amazon launches).

  • Maybe the google home mini is no steam proof, I think he was using it in the bathroom.
    Keen to see a tear down to see if how hard it would be to add a headphone jack.

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Daniel Tyson

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