Hi-Tech

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

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

Google tried to play down the issue by stating that the company was well aware of the issue which has affected a very small number of Google Home Mini. Google also noted at the time that the problem affected units that were designed for those who were reviewing the device and wouldn't be a problem in Google Home Mini units consumers would get when the device would go on sale on October 19.

Google has stopped its Home Mini speakers responding when users touch them. Although we only received a few reports of this issue, we want people to have complete peace of mind while using Google Home Mini.

Google has chose to "permanently remove" the feature that led to a "small number" of Home Mini units accidentally recording thousands of times a day, instead of just when a user triggers it. This is already how most people control and activate Home products. The company also says that the Mini's left and right side can still be tapped to adjust volume. This also points to a likely core issue with the Home Mini's touch-sensitive fabric top that may be too expensive to re-engineer and release after likely pre-producing hundreds of thousands of units ahead of launch.

Google launched "Home Mini" on October 4 for $49 at an event in San Francisco. That means the only way to wake the Assistant is by saying OK Google or Hey Google. He was able to work out what was going on by logging into the activity portal and finding all the recordings that were stored on Google's server.

Preventing "long-press to talk" on all Mini devices is a short-term solution, but it seems to have come swiftly from Google.




The search giant said it would apply the update across all Home Mini speakers by the end of 15 October.

Google help page for the issue notes that it removed the function to "avoid confusion" and reassure users when using the Mini. In any case, from now on tapping the device will do nothing, and you'll have to chat to it to get its attention.

Is Google's choice to disable the touch functionality of the Home Mini enough to convince you that it's taking your privacy seriously? "We immediately rolled out a software update on October 7 to mitigate the issue".

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


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