Re: make VAR stay focused
Yes, you can pull down notifications and press on @Voice notification, or if you have @Voice icon on Android home screen, you can press it too. Or press the app switcher button at the very bottom of Android screen (some devices have it at bottom-left, others at bottom-right) and scroll the screen horizontally, find @Voice screen and press it...
Note that "Read aloud" item on the menu that appears, after you select text in any app, has a limit of only about 500 characters. It's a limitation that Google imposed on the functions added by other apps to this so called "context menu", and there is no way for apps to increase this limit. If you need to get more text into @Voice app, simply select and press "Copy" button, then pull down notifications and press the round button at right in @Voice notification.