Following news that some pre-release Google Home Minis were recording their owners 24/7, Google has announced that it’s taking a big step to prevent that from happening again.
Google says that it will permanently disable all top touch functionality on the Google Home Mini. The smart speaker was supposed to ship with a feature that’d let you use Google Assistant and control music by tapping the top of the speaker, but that’ll no longer be the case.
The Google Home Mini’s top touch functionality will be disable via a software update that will be completely rolled out by the end of October 15.
Google points out that Home Mini owners can still use Google Assistant and control music playback by saying “Ok Google” or “Hey Google” voice commands. Google Home Mini owners can also continue to tap the left side of the device to lower the volume or tap the right side to increase the volume.
This is a pretty drastic step for Google to make, but the company may have felt that this was the best way to ease concerns about its new Home Mini. One concern that some people have about smart speakers is that they can always be listening to you, and so Google may have decided to simply eliminate the top touch feature so that this 24/7 recording issue can pop up in the future and affect the Google Home Mini.