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

12 October 2017, 09:24 | Casey Mitchell

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

Google Home Mini completely loses top touch function

In a statement released today, the company said that it made the decision because "we want people to have complete peace of mind while using Google Home Mini".

Google launched "Home Mini" on October 4 for $49 at an event in San Francisco. Shortly after the issue was brought to Google's attention on October 7, the company created a support page, rolled out a software update, and removed all correspondence with the device initiated with the top touch between October 4 and October 7.

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Google is permanently axing all "top touch" functionality from its new Home Mini device after a nasty bug was documented yesterday that essentially recorded everything around the gadget and sent it to Google.

Announced earlier this month alongside the new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones, the Google Home Mini is a compact version of the Google Home smart speaker the company launched in select markets a year ago. You can still control volume by side touch and voice'. In other words, it was recording its surroundings when it wasn't supposed to be. (I wouldn't be surprised if it's both; the potential for the Mini to turn into a constant surveillance device would be a huge liability.) Either way, it's not the biggest loss, but it's not great to see such a major issue come up right as a product is about to ship. Because now Google is completely depriving the Home Mini of any and all top touch functionality, even the single taps for playback controls.

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Is Google's choice to disable the touch functionality of the Home Mini enough to convince you that it's taking your privacy seriously?

Google appeared to take what happened seriously, as the unit was picked up for examination, assessed, and a software update issued within the span of roughly 24 hours, Russakovskii said. 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. It was first made public early this month as a smaller alternative to the Google Home Max and makes for a compact and artsy device with its flattened round shape and minimalist design. Before Google killed this feature, it would allow you to long-press on the top of the device to activate Google Assistant.

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