We reported not too long ago about a pretty severe issue with the Google Home Mini that cropped up only a few weeks after the device was made available.
In a nutshell, that issue was really a symptom fix for a larger underlying problem. Some Google Home Mini devices were found to be listening to their surroundings even when not being called upon. Something with the top area on the Home Mini has a malfunction that made this all occur. Being unable to fix it, Google simply had to issue a workaround fix: turn off the touch sensitive area on the top of the unit.
This “fix” works, but takes away one of the main UI elements on the device. It hasn’t set well with me since the update and I’ve made the call for Google to issue a recall.
That hasn’t happened, but Google has moved forward with a new function that brings back some of the features the previous workaround took away.
A New Way To Play
The top touch area previously served a couple big purposes: long-press to invoke the Assistant and tap to play/pause media. It looks like we have one of those back!
There are two additional touch points on the sides of the Google Home Mini that are used to control volume and they continue to work as originally intended though all the workarounds.
With the latest update to the Home Mini, you can now play/pause media playback with a long press of either of those volume buttons on the sides. The update is available to those in the Google Home Preview Program and will roll out to all units shortly.
While this isn’t nearly as intuitive as a simple tap on the top, it is a motion that is simple and will be easy to execute. While it is a shame that the pretty awesome fabric design is clearly causing some issues, it is great to see Google respond to this problem with a software fix.
Now, if they can figure out a way to invoke the Assistant with those buttons, we’ll have all the functionality back in place. Hopefully Google has learned its lesson with this fail and will make sure these things are ironed out properly before the follow up to the Google Home Mini shows up next year.
SOURCE: The Verge