3 add a note about future changes
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No, the bottom system bar (that's the one with the home, back, and recent buttons) can't be hidden on a stock device without rooting it and using a custom system image. The soft home button is very important because it gives you a way to get back to the home screen that can't be overridden by apps: this includes getting out of an unresponsive or broken app.

On 4.0 and above an app author can temporarily hide both bars, but touching the screen or pressing any hard key (including volume) will bring them back, so that doesn't prevent people leaving the app. (And quite right! It would be crazy for stock Android to let one app take over the whole system.)

The SYSTEM_UI_FLAG_HIDE_NAVIGATION is a new flag that requests the navigation bar hide completely. Be aware that this works only for the navigation bar used by some handsets (it does not hide the system bar on tablets). The navigation bar returns to view as soon as the system receives user input. As such, this mode is useful primarily for video playback or other cases in which the whole screen is needed but user input is not required.

http://developer.android.com/about/versions/android-4.0.html

It's worth noting that a full kiosk mode (not letting the user leave the app at all) has been announced for Android L, but the app has to be a device administrator to enter this mode.

No, the bottom system bar (that's the one with the home, back, and recent buttons) can't be hidden on a stock device without rooting it and using a custom system image. The soft home button is very important because it gives you a way to get back to the home screen that can't be overridden by apps: this includes getting out of an unresponsive or broken app.

On 4.0 and above an app author can temporarily hide both bars, but touching the screen or pressing any hard key (including volume) will bring them back, so that doesn't prevent people leaving the app. (And quite right! It would be crazy for stock Android to let one app take over the whole system.)

The SYSTEM_UI_FLAG_HIDE_NAVIGATION is a new flag that requests the navigation bar hide completely. Be aware that this works only for the navigation bar used by some handsets (it does not hide the system bar on tablets). The navigation bar returns to view as soon as the system receives user input. As such, this mode is useful primarily for video playback or other cases in which the whole screen is needed but user input is not required.

http://developer.android.com/about/versions/android-4.0.html

No, the bottom system bar (that's the one with the home, back, and recent buttons) can't be hidden on a stock device without rooting it and using a custom system image. The soft home button is very important because it gives you a way to get back to the home screen that can't be overridden by apps: this includes getting out of an unresponsive or broken app.

On 4.0 and above an app author can temporarily hide both bars, but touching the screen or pressing any hard key (including volume) will bring them back, so that doesn't prevent people leaving the app. (And quite right! It would be crazy for stock Android to let one app take over the whole system.)

The SYSTEM_UI_FLAG_HIDE_NAVIGATION is a new flag that requests the navigation bar hide completely. Be aware that this works only for the navigation bar used by some handsets (it does not hide the system bar on tablets). The navigation bar returns to view as soon as the system receives user input. As such, this mode is useful primarily for video playback or other cases in which the whole screen is needed but user input is not required.

http://developer.android.com/about/versions/android-4.0.html

It's worth noting that a full kiosk mode (not letting the user leave the app at all) has been announced for Android L, but the app has to be a device administrator to enter this mode.

2 add more info on fullscreen mode
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No, the bottom statussystem bar (withthat's the one with the home, back, and recent buttons) can't be hidden on a stock device without rooting it and using a custom system image. The soft home button is very important because it gives you a way to get back to the home screen that can't be overridden by apps: this includes getting out of an unresponsive or broken app.

The full-screen support inOn 4.2 only hides the top status bar (with the notification icons0 and pull-down).

You could look for a device with hard keys instead of a status bar. The Samsung Galaxy S 3 isabove an example of a Jelly Bean phone with no bottom status barapp author can temporarily hide both bars, but I don't know oftouching the screen or pressing any Jelly Bean tablets with hard keyskey (including volume) will bring them back, so that doesn't prevent people leaving the app. (And quite right! It would be crazy for stock Android to let one app take over the whole system.)

The SYSTEM_UI_FLAG_HIDE_NAVIGATION is a new flag that requests the navigation bar hide completely. Be aware that this works only for the navigation bar used by some handsets (it does not hide the system bar on tablets). The navigation bar returns to view as soon as the system receives user input. As such, this mode is useful primarily for video playback or other cases in which the whole screen is needed but user input is not required.

http://developer.android.com/about/versions/android-4.0.html

No, the bottom status bar (with the buttons) can't be hidden on a stock device without rooting it and using a custom system image. The soft home button is very important because it gives you a way to get back to the home screen that can't be overridden by apps: this includes getting out of an unresponsive or broken app.

The full-screen support in 4.2 only hides the top status bar (with the notification icons and pull-down).

You could look for a device with hard keys instead of a status bar. The Samsung Galaxy S 3 is an example of a Jelly Bean phone with no bottom status bar, but I don't know of any Jelly Bean tablets with hard keys.

No, the bottom system bar (that's the one with the home, back, and recent buttons) can't be hidden on a stock device without rooting it and using a custom system image. The soft home button is very important because it gives you a way to get back to the home screen that can't be overridden by apps: this includes getting out of an unresponsive or broken app.

On 4.0 and above an app author can temporarily hide both bars, but touching the screen or pressing any hard key (including volume) will bring them back, so that doesn't prevent people leaving the app. (And quite right! It would be crazy for stock Android to let one app take over the whole system.)

The SYSTEM_UI_FLAG_HIDE_NAVIGATION is a new flag that requests the navigation bar hide completely. Be aware that this works only for the navigation bar used by some handsets (it does not hide the system bar on tablets). The navigation bar returns to view as soon as the system receives user input. As such, this mode is useful primarily for video playback or other cases in which the whole screen is needed but user input is not required.

http://developer.android.com/about/versions/android-4.0.html

    Post Undeleted by Dan Hulme
    Post Deleted by Dan Hulme
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No, the bottom status bar (with the buttons) can't be hidden on a stock device without rooting it and using a custom system image. The soft home button is very important because it gives you a way to get back to the home screen that can't be overridden by apps: this includes getting out of an unresponsive or broken app.

The full-screen support in 4.2 only hides the top status bar (with the notification icons and pull-down).

You could look for a device with hard keys instead of a status bar. The Samsung Galaxy S 3 is an example of a Jelly Bean phone with no bottom status bar, but I don't know of any Jelly Bean tablets with hard keys.