Google has since pushed out an OTA update that disables manual activation completely, and they are also planning a long-term fix before the device is released to customers on the 19th of October. This mechanism was responding to so-called "phantom touches" hundreds of times each day, then recording whatever was going on nearby and sending that to Google. The Home Mini is a great holiday gift for anyone.
Some of the Home Mini speakers Google gave away during its recent Pixel event aren't working correctly. And we all remember how much Google insisted on the quality of the Home Mini's design and materials. That is until he noticed something pretty odd: It was waking up thousands of times a day, recording, then sending those clips to Google's servers.
The user in question was Android Police's Artem Russakovskii who had received an early unit of the Home Mini at Google's October 4 event. All this was done quietly, Russakovskii said, with the four LED lights on the unit firing on and off unbeknownst to him. Upon further investigation of his Google account's My Activity portal, Russakovskii realized the device had transmitted thousands of audio recordings to the company without his knowledge, all of which were available for playback.
The video below shows the faulty Google Home Mini in action and offers you an idea of how you can easily see if the speaker is recording everything: The lights turn on to tell you the speaker is active.
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The good news is that Google is fixing the issue before the Google Home Mini ships to your door. The problem, as Russakovskii writes, was that the Google Home Mini thought someone was holding their finger down on the top of the touch panel of the device, the only other way to have the Google's smart mini speaker start listening to commands. A help page explains the issue and says that preordered Google Home Minis will not be affected. Google, in all fairness, was quick to resolve this issue.
So now, users have to say the wake word to activate the smart speaker; a simple touch will no longer activate it. Google has achieved this by adjusting the device's software.
'The home is a special intimate place, form and size really matter, and you should never have to think about how you interact with it'.