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

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Apr 12, 2001
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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".


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
 

RickInHouston

macrumors 65816
May 14, 2014
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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???
 
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Telos101

macrumors regular
Apr 29, 2016
219
886
Ireland
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???

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 :)

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".
 
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Weaselboy

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Jan 23, 2005
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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?

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wwetech

macrumors member
Jul 15, 2008
41
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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.
 
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joueboy

macrumors 68000
Jul 3, 2008
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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.
 
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RogerWilco

macrumors 6502a
Jul 29, 2011
758
1,245
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.
You are number six.
 
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Jesse Waugh

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Nov 10, 2017
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New York City
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.

Function is 1984. They’re listening to you.
 
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nviz22

Cancelled
Jun 24, 2013
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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?

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.
 
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T5BRICK

macrumors G3
Aug 3, 2006
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Oregon
What functionality does it provide other then having to shout at it 6 times to get it to play the correct song.

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

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...

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.
 
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somethingelsefl

macrumors 6502
Dec 22, 2008
446
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Tampa, FL
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.
 
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szw-mapple fan

macrumors 68000
Jul 28, 2012
1,975
1,759
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.

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.
 
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ozaz

macrumors 65816
Feb 27, 2011
1,278
286
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.

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.
 
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Mascots

macrumors 68000
Sep 5, 2009
1,615
1,314
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.

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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