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

by

Google's Home Mini smart speaker received an update on Friday that brings back some of the touch-based controls that the company had to disable shortly after its release back in October (via AndroidPolice).

Google was 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 devices were registering "phantom touch events".


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, including single-tap functions that played and paused music, snoozed alarms, and ended phone calls.

Friday's v1.29 firmware update reinstates some of that single-tap functionality, but via a side long press instead. After installing the update, Google Home Mini owners will again be able to play/pause music, end phone calls, and silence alarms without speaking to the device. 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 initially being rolled out in the preview firmware channel, which Home Mini owners can join via the Home app settings if they don't want to wait around for the automatic update.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
35 months ago

I know I may get busted by the mods but is this a mac rumour? Unless I'm missing something and there was an iOS app connected to this?

From the FAQ (https://macrumors.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/201096168-Why-does-a-Mac-rumors-site-have-so-many-stories-about-phones-tablets-and-watches-):

We also cover stories of widespread interest to our regular readers, such as news and speculation about major software developers and third-party product and service vendors closely associated with or rivaling Apple.

If you would like to provide some feedback on the types of news covered, please start a thread in the Site and Forum Feedback (https://forums.macrumors.com/forums/site-and-forum-feedback.66/) section. Thanks
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
35 months ago
I know I may get busted by the mods but is this a mac rumour? Unless I'm missing something and there was an iOS app connected to this?
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
35 months ago
Okay, am I missing something with this new fad of "smart" speakers? Like what is the point of them? Its just a bluetooth speaker with Amazon/Google/Apple's crappy "smart" assistant built in. What functionality does it provide other then having to shout at it 6 times to get it to play the correct song.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
35 months ago
Must have been posted on wrong site.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
35 months ago
The “fresh minds” at Google at their engineering best.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
35 months ago
This... is basically a hardware design flaw with the device and google is attempting to walk around fixing it with software.

Don't understand how this isn't a bigger deal...
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Takes Legal Action Against Small Company With Pear Logo

Saturday August 8, 2020 11:09 am PDT by
Apple is taking legal action against the developers of the app "Prepear" due to its logo, according to iPhone in Canada. Prepear is an app that helps users discover recipes, plan meals, make lists, and arrange grocery deliveries. The app is a spinoff of "Super Healthy Kids," and the founders claim that they are facing litigation from Apple. Apple reportedly takes issue with Prepear's logo, ...

Kuo: Global iPhone Shipments Could Decline Up to 30% If Apple Forced to Remove WeChat From App Store [Updated x2]

Sunday August 9, 2020 10:17 pm PDT by
In a worst-case scenario, Apple's annual global iPhone shipments could decline by 25–30% if it is forced to remove WeChat from its App Stores around the world, according to a new research note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo viewed by MacRumors. The removal could occur due to a recent executive order aiming to ban U.S. transactions with WeChat and its parent company Tencent. Kuo lays out...

Google Maps Debuts New Apple Watch App and CarPlay Features

Monday August 10, 2020 9:16 am PDT by
Google today announced the launch of several features for Google Maps on Apple products, including new CarPlay functionality and a new Google Maps app that works on Apple Watch. The new Google Maps app for Apple Watch works similarly to the iOS app, allowing Apple Watch owners to get directions for a car, bike, public transit, or on foot. The app supports estimated arrival times and...

Foxconn Reportedly Begins Seasonal Hiring Spree for iPhone 12 Production

Monday August 10, 2020 7:03 am PDT by
Apple's largest manufacturing partner Foxconn has begun its seasonal hiring spree to assist with iPhone 12 production, offering employees who recruit qualified applicants up to a 9,000 yuan bonus, according to Chinese media reports. As usual, Foxconn needs as many hands on deck as possible at its factory in Zhengzhou, China to assist with mass production of the upcoming iPhones. Apple is...

Apple May Release 4G-Only iPhone 12 in Early 2021

Tuesday August 11, 2020 5:28 am PDT by
In a research note shared by Business Insider, Wedbush Securities analysts said that Apple may release a cheaper iPhone 12 in early 2021 with no 5G connectivity. Wedbush initially believed Apple would launch a mix of 4G and 5G iPhone 12 models this fall. Following re-examination of Asian supply chains, analysts Daniel Ives, Strecker Backe, and Ahmad Khalil revised the predictions,...

2020 iMac Teardown Reveals Internal Changes and Similarities

Saturday August 8, 2020 12:44 pm PDT by
A teardown video, shared by OWC, reveals the internal changes in the new 2020 27-inch iMac. The 2020 27-inch iMac was announced earlier this week with 10th-generation Intel Core processors, AMD Radeon Pro 5000 series graphics, up to 128GB of RAM, up to 8TB of storage, a 1080p front-facing FaceTime camera, a True Tone display with a nano-texture glass option, higher fidelity speakers, and...

Apple Believes This German Cycling Path Logo Infringes on Its Own Logo

Wednesday May 1, 2019 9:51 am PDT by
Apple recently objected to the logo of a new German cycling path in an appeal filed with the German Patent and Trademark Office, according to German outlets General-Anzeiger Bonn and Westdeutscher Rundfunk. Apple reportedly takes issue with the logo's green leaf and supposed "bitten" right side, attributes the company believes are too similar to its own logo. The logo, registered with the ...

Apple Seeds First Public Beta of watchOS 7 to Public Beta Testers

Monday August 10, 2020 10:33 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the first public beta of an upcoming watchOS 7 update to public beta testers, one week after seeding the fourth beta to developers and a month and a half after the Worldwide Developers Conference. The update can be downloaded after installing the proper profile from Apple's Public Beta website. watchOS 7 should not be installed on a primary device as it is still an early...

Apple Watch Likely to Adopt MicroLED Display Technology in 3-4 Years

Monday August 10, 2020 2:55 am PDT by
This year's Apple Watch Series 6 is expected to feature an OLED screen like previous models, but a future model is likely to be the first Apple product to adopt MicroLED display technology, albeit not for another three to four years. That's the main takeaway reading between the lines of comments made by the chairman of Epistar, Taiwan's top LED producer, which is reportedly working on a...

Apple Seeds iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 Public Beta 4 to Testers

Thursday August 6, 2020 10:05 am PDT by
Apple today seeded new public betas of upcoming iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 updates to its public beta testing group. Today's software releases, which Apple labels as fourth betas to keep them in line with developer betas, are actually the third betas that Apple has provided and they come two weeks after the prior beta releases. Public beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing...