I did explore Kiosk Browser Lockdown but found it not to be good for my tablets, for the reason I can not recall right now. It was either subscription requirement for the remote management or it was unable to remove all OS toolbars. I have tried may other but most are not compatible with my Android 4.2.2 that does not have what is called immersive mode (fullscreen) introduced in 4.4.
To get to the same place I’m here you need a device with root. The one I use Sibo Q896 does come with rooted at purchase. Just install SuperSU to manage what app gets root privileges. Then install Full!screen that will remove all OS toollbars and soft buttons on the bottom replacing them with custom transparent (home/back) buttons in the screen corners.
Now the best way to have a HABpanel run without the browser bar full screen is to use Add to Home Screen option. This will create a home screen shortcut that will launch a website in the fullscreen mode. Together with the Full!screen you have a Home Automation panel without any traces of the Android OS. Hence the mother in law will not break it.
There are many apps that will launch an app on system boot. Autostart and Stay is one of them and I found it to be great. Unfortuantely none of those apps and I looked long will not let you launch a home screen web shortcut as they are not seen as apps.
For that I have created a pair of apps. (ok not me I actually paid some Indian freelancer to do it )
One selects the homescreen shortcut and the purpose of the second is just to launch it.
Now you can use any autostart app to lauch my app that just opens the homesceen chrome shortcut.
here are the apps https://www.dropbox.com/sh/c37j63rtuz2kaz4/AAAE--mcOo1ZA38YvG4sGG1pa?dl=0
That is tested only on 4.2.2 and I pretty much sure it only works on that version of the android.
Sibo now has an upgraded version of the tablet q896S with android 4.4 and I have already ordered it So soon I will test it at 4.4.
This gets you this point (note that you can make the corner home/back buttons fully transparent I just did not do that on this panel yet)
The common problem with the HABpanel is that after any change to Openhab config (items or rules) the panels often become unresponsive. Lucky all my Android tablets are powered with POE (power over Ethernet) so I can just power cycle them from my main house switch with some remote command.
As for the management I’m willing to use one central HABpanel config I think that is the only way to go since you cant have widgets on the main page you always have to dive to the second level. And it is way easier to build the widgets on the PC not on the tablet itself.
The only problem is that chrome shortcut is only pointing to the main page with panels and for some reason does not linkg to the room specific sub-page with widgets that I wish it did.
I have not been able to find any tool to edit the chrome shortcuts and see if it indeed saves the right URL. That remains to be solved.
What tablets do you plan to use?