After disabling the touch controls on the top of the Google Home Mini just prior to launch over privacy concerns, Google is re-enabling them in the latest preview update to the miniature smart speaker.
Google hobbled the Home Mini just prior to launch after Android Police publisher Artem Russakovski noticed that his Mini review unit had begun sending all his voice traffic, including conversations not aimed at Google Home Mini back to Google.
In the latest Preview software (v1.30 for those playing at home), Google is re-enabling the touch controls but not on the top of the device merely on the sides. The touch controls on the side consist of long and short touches, with long press enabling the option to end calls (if we ever get those in Australia) as well as silence any timers or alarms, pause or play your music, while a short tap will let you adjust the volume by tapping either the left or right side.
It’s only in the preview software so far, but if no issues are found by the many users on the Google Home Beta program it should roll out to all Google Home Mini users shortly.
The whole launch of the Home Mini was overshadowed by this issue, so it’s good to see the return of some functionality to Home Mini. There’s no word on if the top touch function which triggered Google Assistant (and controlled music etc.) will ever return – Google said it was being disabled permanently originally – but at least there’s some control coming back.