Google has pushed out an update to the Android Auto app on the Google Play Store, which adds a feature that many have been asking for. That is a way to minimize Android Auto, and/or access the rest of your phone while you're driving. Now Google has been hesitant to add this feature because it believed that it would distract drivers more than normal. But the Android Auto team did decide to add it with this latest update.
You can minimize Android Auto now, and it'll have a floating Android Auto icon on your screen, so you can easily hop back into Android Auto. This is a great idea for those that need to jump into the settings and change something, or reply to a message without using your voice, while you are driving - preferably at a stop light. There's no limitations here with minimizing Android Auto, it works pretty easily, and you can access anything on your phone afterwards. Though it's hard to justify needing to minimize Android Auto while you're driving, seeing as your eyes should be focused on the road and not on your phone, but it is a nice feature to have here for those that need it.
Android Auto debuted a few years ago at Google I/O and for the longest time, it was only available as a companion app on Android. It was essentially worthless unless your car had Android Auto built-in. But about a year ago, Google added the ability to use Android Auto on your phone, so you could mount your phone in the car and use Android Auto as it should be used. Since then, Google has slowly been adding more features to Android Auto, and it's good to see that Google is still adding in some features that many never thought would come.