Touch Controls Coming Back to Google Home Mini

When the Google Home Mini was announced back in October, one of the highlighted features of the device were touch controls.  These controls would all you to not only adjust the volume with a touch of either side of the device, but would also allow you to long press to play or pause music amongst other things.  Unfortunately it was discovered that the touch controls could be activated without actually touching them, prompting Google to disable the feature (save the volume up and down side touches) via a software update.

It appears now that Google has sorted out a potential resolution and will soon be re-enabling the touch controls of the Google Home Mini by bringing those to the side touch areas.  There is now a software update available to those in the Home Preview Program which is enabling long presses to pause or play music while short presses of the side buttons will remain volume control.  The top tap control however remains disabled and likely will remain so given it is as much a hardware challenge as it is software.

With the software more-or-less in beta testing at this point through the preview program, it could be several weeks if not months before everyone sees this update hit their Google Home Mini.  That gives Google and testers plenty of time to determine if it works as planned and to squash any potential bugs.

My guess?  We will see this sometime in the first quarter of 2018, likely late in the quarter (March).

Keep in mind of course that you can still use the Home Mini completely by voice controls thanks to Google Assistant.  The touch controls are nice but you don’t have to use them if you don’t want to do so.  I have, however, found that I do use the touch controls on my various Home Mini’s more because of their location (bedroom and kitchen) where as my regular Google Home is virtually never touched.

When the software update is released, your Home Mini will be automatically updated to the new build.  I suspect that Google will through up a notification card in the Google Home app to let you know when it has updated your device(s).