Published: Thu, October 12, 2017
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

Google to 'permanently remove' Home Mini's faulty recording feature

Google to 'permanently remove' Home Mini's faulty recording feature

Yesterday news broke that a Google Home Mini speaker had gone rogue and started recording everything that was being said around it - not the way Google's smart speakers are meant to work and not the best way to earn the trust of users. The basis for the elimination of top touch is chronicled in a post published Tuesday by Android Police reviewer Artem Russakovskii. Meanwhile, the company says it's deleted all the data recorded from alleged button pushes on the Mini review units - whether they were actual button pushes or not - from the time it handed out the devices to reviewers until it issued the update. Before Google killed this feature, it would allow you to long-press on the top of the device to activate Google Assistant. "We've made a decision to permanently remove all top touch functionality on Google Home Mini".

Google has issued the following statement: "We take user privacy and product quality concerns very seriously".

Google confirmed in a statement that it is permanently removing the top touch functionality of the Home Mini.

Google had seemingly hoped to return the top button functionality to the Home Mini at a later date, but now the company seems to have given up on that - either because it couldn't figure out a way to do it, or simply out of an abundance of caution.

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"The Google Home team is aware of an issue impacting a small number of Google Home Mini devices that could cause the touch control mechanism to behave incorrectly", explains Google. The company also says that the Mini's left and right side can still be tapped to adjust volume. After all, there are those who may find it uncomfortable to control the speaker by talking to it in a crowded room, despite the Home Mini primarily being a voice-enabled speaker. The software fix is supposed to be rolled out October 15th, a few days before the Mini ships.

The Google Home Mini bug was active from October 4-7. The $50 smart speaker is its answer to Amazon's $50 Echo Dot.

According to Tech Crunch, those who received the Home Mini at the recent Made By Google events, were the ones affected by the bug.

Russakovskii swapped the device with Google, whose engineers determined that the device was registering "phantom" touches.

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