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Is it possible to force an app into full-screen mode so all the soft-keys will disappear and the app will take up the entire screen areas?

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For rooted devices, you can disable them quite easily:

  1. Open the File Manager App, then tap the Menu button (capacitative or onscreen), and tap Settings.
  2. Go to General Settings, scroll down to and tap Access Mode
  3. Switch to either "Prompt User Mode" or "Root Access Mode"
  4. Open the sec_touchkey.kl file in ./system/usr/keylayout/
  5. Put a # symbol before the both the following lines:
    key 139 MENU VIRTUAL
    key 158 BACK VIRTUAL
    
  6. Close, saving changes
  7. Reboot

Alternatively, if you don't want to root, then you can find apps that provide fullscreen/immersive mode on Play Store.

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