Android Auto app tests a “Minimize app” button to help quickly access other apps


Google has been pushing Android adoption in vehicles for a few years now. Their efforts revolve around “Android Auto” and “Android Automotive”. Android Automotive is a fully independent Android-based operating system that runs on dedicated hardware in the vehicle, capable of controlling HVAC and other in-vehicle systems, while Android Auto is an extension of your Android smartphone that runs on compatible main units. Automatically projects your phone screen to the main unit via wired or wireless connection. For those of you who do not have an Android Auto compatible headunit, the Android app can also be run on the phone itself, of course you will need to install your phone where it can be seen and have to face the smaller screen.

The Android Auto app has a few built-in functions to help keep your eyes on the road while making your smartphone useful in the car. It has a few built-in integrations like Google Maps, the dialer app, and Google Play Music. There is also a notification listener service to help you stay on top of important notifications. In the rare event that you really need to use an app that is not supported by the Auto app, you will need to quit the service and then go to that app. For this situation, it looks like Google is testing a new “Minimize app” button that allows you to quickly return to your regular home screen to perform an action but, once you’re done, quickly enter Android again. Auto.

This feature was first discovered by XDA Recognized Developer Quinny899 and Confirmed by XDA. The feature works on the latest version of the Android Auto app, version 3.3.582064, which can be downloaded from the Google Play Store. We don’t know when it will be rolled out, as Google tests new Android Auto features for a long time before rolling them out. (Caution is welcome, however, as the app is used in the vehicle, so safety should be considered.)

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Deana N. Guinn

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