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Google Permanently Disables Home Mini’s Top Touch Panel After Device Recorded When It Shouldn’t Have

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Following the news that Google’s new Home Mini connected-home hubs were recording users thousands of times per day because the device refused to stay asleep, Google has permanently disabled the touch-sensitive panel on the top of the Home Mini.

This touch functionality allowed users to activate the Home Mini without first having to say “OK Google” or “Hey Google,” and it also let the user manually pause or play audio streaming through the speaker.

But earlier this week, Google admitted that review units of the device had a problem where they were waking up on their own and recording whatever was going on in the room. The immediate fix was to disable the touch panel, and now that fix has been made permanent.

The company said that this issue only affected advance units that had been handed out for review at pre-launch events, and that it wouldn’t be a problem for customers who pre-ordered the Home Mini.

Now that’s a moot point, as Google announced in an update that it has decided to permanently disable the top touch panel by the end of the day Oct. 15.

“We made this decision to avoid any confusion and give you complete peace of mind while using your Mini,” the company’s support page for the issue reads.

Going forward, the only way you can wake up your Home Mini will be with your voice — either “Okay Google,” or “Hey Google.” You’ll also have to say a hot word and then pause, play, or stop instead of tapping the top of the device to control music, alarms, and timers.

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