Google Home Mini Firmware Update Reinstates Touch Controls Previously Disabled Over Privacy Concerns

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Dec 9, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    Google's Home Mini smart speaker received an update on Friday that brings back some of the touch-based controls that the company had to disable shortly after its release back in October (via AndroidPolice).

    Google was forced to turn off the built-in touch panel, which is designed to let users activate Google Assistant with a long press instead of a voice command, after a reviewer discovered that some of the devices were registering "phantom touch events".

    [​IMG]

    The issue meant that some Minis were prone to recording conversations and sounds even when no "OK Google" voice command was spoken, immediately prompting privacy concerns. As a result, Google opted to disable the touch features completely, including single-tap functions that played and paused music, snoozed alarms, and ended phone calls.

    Friday's v1.29 firmware update reinstates some of that single-tap functionality, but via a side long press instead. After installing the update, Google Home Mini owners will again be able to play/pause music, end phone calls, and silence alarms without speaking to the device. However, users still won't be able to trigger voice input using touch, because the top long press functions remain disabled.

    The software tweak is initially being rolled out in the preview firmware channel, which Home Mini owners can join via the Home app settings if they don't want to wait around for the automatic update.

    Article Link: Google Home Mini Firmware Update Reinstates Touch Controls Previously Disabled Over Privacy Concerns
     
  2. djcerla macrumors 68000

    djcerla

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    The “fresh minds” at Google at their engineering best.
     
  3. RickInHouston macrumors 65816

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    That article didn't make any sense to me. Users still won't be able to trigger voice input (hands free?) Because long press has been disabled???
     
  4. jonnysods macrumors 603

    jonnysods

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    I know I may get busted by the mods but is this a mac rumour? Unless I'm missing something and there was an iOS app connected to this?
     
  5. Telos101, Dec 9, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2017

    Telos101 macrumors regular

    Telos101

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    Makes sense to me. You used to be able to trigger voice input with a long press on the top. That's still disabled after the update. Of course you can still say "OK Google!" That's why they call it a smart speaker :)

     
  6. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    From the FAQ:

    If you would like to provide some feedback on the types of news covered, please start a thread in the Site and Forum Feedback section. Thanks
     
  7. wwetech macrumors member

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    This is good. I own 2 of these and missed being able to use touch to turn off alarms and pause music. Thanks Google.
     
  8. nfl46 macrumors 604

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    #8
    Also remember you can still get $25 from Walmart to spend via Google Express if you purchase one of these. So, get one, spend the $25 on some groceries. Win. Win.
     
  9. pauloregan macrumors newbie

    pauloregan

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  10. 69Mustang macrumors 603

    69Mustang

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    I have no true interest in smart speakers. That being said, $5 to hook a mini or dot to some spare speakers... why the hell not?
    --- Post Merged, Dec 9, 2017 ---
    Right site. Just appealing to broader interest.
     
  11. FelixDerKater Contributor

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  12. joueboy macrumors 65816

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    After buying Echo dot for $30 and an addon $5 smartplug, is one of the best tech toy purchase I had for a while. I ended up getting another pair just to control my christnas tree. The dot is sitting right beside my iMac and played around with Siri vs Alexa. That $30 gadget is way ahead than Siri on my Mac. I’m loving this smart speakers and I don’t know how Apple compete. With Google Home being already a better according to some reviews. I think that Homepod is just a basic speaker that can only play Apple Music.
     
  13. BlargKing macrumors 6502

    BlargKing

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    Okay, am I missing something with this new fad of "smart" speakers? Like what is the point of them? Its just a bluetooth speaker with Amazon/Google/Apple's crappy "smart" assistant built in. What functionality does it provide other then having to shout at it 6 times to get it to play the correct song.
     
  14. RogerWilco macrumors 6502a

    RogerWilco

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    You are number six.
     
  15. Jesse Waugh Suspended

    Jesse Waugh

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    #15
    Function is 1984. They’re listening to you.
     
  16. Mascots macrumors 68000

    Mascots

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    This... is basically a hardware design flaw with the device and google is attempting to walk around fixing it with software.

    Don't understand how this isn't a bigger deal...
     
  17. nviz22 macrumors 601

    nviz22

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    Google apps are a huge part of the iOS experience. Google Maps, Gmail, Google Drive. Google updates its iOS apps quicker than android apps a lot of the time. Since there isn’t group FaceTime, many of us rely on 3rd party video chatting apps.

    Not all of us will buy a HomePod either. Some will go Echo Dot and others will go Google Home Mini.
     
  18. BlargKing macrumors 6502

    BlargKing

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    What does that even mean??
     
  19. T5BRICK macrumors G3

    T5BRICK

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    Maybe you’re just used to Siri? Google assistant actually works really well and I’ve rarely had to repeat myself.

    It’s a $30 device, so maybe that’s why it isn’t a big deal.

    Apple has addressed hardware issues with software workarounds multiple times.
     
  20. somethingelsefl macrumors 6502

    somethingelsefl

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    #20
    Apple Face Id concerns with twins and $200 masks are nothing compared to "Phantom Touch" events by Google.

    My friends have a Google Home now and "phantom" recording prompts beep 2-3 times a day. Google. Is. Not. Secure.
     
  21. szw-mapple fan macrumors 65816

    szw-mapple fan

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    It provides the functionality of only having to shout at it a single time for it to work. The microphones on these things are so much better than the ones on smartphones.
     
  22. Jesse Waugh Suspended

    Jesse Waugh

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    #22
    It’s a reference to The Prisoner series with Patrick McGoohan. Look it up and watch it and you’ll understand what these 1984 speakers are for.

    Here: https://g.co/kgs/ZxGQoa
     
  23. ozaz macrumors 65816

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    #23
    Yes. You're missing quite a bit.

    In certain contexts it can be very handy not to have to grab your phone to control the speaker. For me, the best example of this is when you're doing stuff in the kitchen.

    Being able to control music, podcasts, and ask for news and local info (e.g. expected journey times based on current traffic conditions) is enough for me and all I really use my GH for. But others link them with other smart devices round the home to control those devices by voice.

    They're not Bluetooth speakers (although some have bluetooth functionality). They're first and foremost internet connected WiFi speakers. That's a big difference and if you don't understand that, conceptually you will struggle to see the point of them.

    I don't know where your ask 6 times dig comes from. That's not my experience with Google Home at all.
     
  24. Xenc macrumors 65816

    Xenc

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    There should be an option to enable the buttons in spite of whatever upset everyone else is experiencing.
     
  25. Mascots macrumors 68000

    Mascots

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    #25
    I mean, yeah, like the iPhone X display? That wasn't straight up disabling an entire chunk of functionality though. I can't think of a time they ever did that... maybe swapping the iPad toggle functionality?
     

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