Skip to main content

Google Has Killed Home Mini's Touch Feature

The Google Home Mini's top touch feature that allowed you to connect with Google Assistant has been turned off.

Credit: Tom's Guide

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

In a statement to Tom's Guide, a Google spokesperson said that the company takes "user privacy and product quality concerns very seriously," and wants to ensure anyone who uses the disc-like smart home device has "complete peace of mind." So, all top touch features have been "permanently remove[ed]" from the device.

"As before, the best way to control and activate Google Home Mini is through voice, by saying 'Ok Google' or 'Hey Google,' which is already how most people engage with our Google Home products," the company spokesperson said. "You can still adjust the volume by using the touch control on the side of the device."

MORE: Google Home Mini Caught Spying on Users

Google announced its Home Mini at a Made by Google press event last week alongside the new Pixel 2 and other devices. Google Home Mini comes with the Google Assistant built-in, which can be activated by voice. However, those who want to turn it on by touch were able to hold their hands down on the device and send off some requests to Google's virtual assistant.

Earlier this week, however, some reviewers discovered that the device was actually recording everything a person was doing and then sending that information back to Google. Rather than wait for user input to tell Google Assistant to listen, the service instead recorded at will, creating a major privacy concern.

Google initially addressed the problem by saying a software fix would stop the smart home device from recording. 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 Oct. 19.

While Google continues to say only a small number of devices were affected, its latest move means anyone who buys the device will also be out of luck.