The Google Home Mini was supposed to have the same touch functionality as its full sized brother. At launch, you could tap the top to activate Google Assistant, pause music, turn off alarms, and more.
Unfortunately, a bug affecting some devices would cause the Home Mini to record all the time, saving all audio full time. The touch sensor thought it was being tapped. Despite affecting a fraction of devices, Google decided to disable the touch sensor on all of them with an update.
The functionality was obviously sorely missed, so Google is finally bringing it back. With the latest update, you can long press the side to access the same functions as the old top press. It’s not as convenient but it’s definitely better than nothing.
The update is firmware v1.30 and is rolling out today, so keep an eye out!