You might remember that in the middle of October, Google had to disable the tap functionality on top of the Google Home Mini smart speaker after a small number of units malfunctioned. While tapping the top of the smart speaker would activate Google Assistant
and control music, alarms and timers, the malfunctioning units kept acting as though the top was constantly being tapped. This led to the device recording over and over again, sending whatever was picked up back to Google.. Luckily, the only units affected were review and other early release models. Pre-ordered Google Home Minis and those sold at retail were not affected.
A firmware update brings some tapping functionality back to the Google Home Mini
Google fixed the issue by removing the top tapping capabilities of the Google Home Mini. No longer could a Google Home Mini user activate Google Assistant or control music, alarms and timers by tapping the top of the smart speaker. Google suggested the user of verbal commands like "Ok Google" or "Hey Google" to activate Google Assistant. To control audio, Google suggested that users say "Ok Google" or "Hey Google" followed by the words pause, play or stop.
Starting today, Google has decided to bring back some of the tapping functionality, although not exactly as before. Instead, once the new firmware update for the Home Mini (v1.29) is installed, a long press on either side of the mini smart speaker will allow you to end calls, or pause and play music. A short tap on either side will change the volume on the speaker. The update will start in the preview update channel. You can join the channel by heading to the Home app settings.