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Latest Google Home Mini update brings back touch controls for audio playback

Google says the update is rolling out now for the Home Mini, though you can join the preview firmware channel if you don't want to wait.

Published onDecember 8, 2017

Those hoping that Google would re-enable the top touch functionality on the Home Mini will be sorely disappointed with the smart speaker’s latest update, but at least you get that functionality moved to the sides!

If you’re a bit confused, here’s the deal. Even before the Home Mini was released, it was found that the smart speaker spontaneously activated thousands of times each day. According to Google, the Home Mini behaved as if the top touch control mechanism was constantly activated, which led the search giant to disable top touch functionality.

Even so, the Home Mini’s latest update lets you long-press the sides to end calls, pause and play music that’s playing, and silence any alarms you have going off. These are all features that previously worked when touching the top, but seeing how Google has permanently disabled that area, here we are.

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Honestly, that doesn’t seem very intuitive to me. I give kudos to Google for not giving up on the features and finding a way to somehow keep them implemented without using the top touch control, but a tap on the middle seems more second-nature to me than long-pressing the sides.

Either way, the Home Mini is a device that is meant to be used with your voice, with any touch controls coming as a bonus rather than a pre-requisite. Also, the ability to summon Google Assistant with a tap will not be shifted to the sides — you will still need to say either “OK, Google” or “Hey, Google.”

The update is rolling out now, but don’t fret if it’s not available for you just yet. You’ll be looking for firmware update v1.30, though you can also join the preview firmware channel within the Home app settings if you have a hard time waiting.

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