Teacher App: iOS vs Android

Blog Post created by Ryan.Seilhamer@ucf.edu Champion on Aug 9, 2017

I have compiled a list of difference between the iOS and Android Teacher app. I discussed with the mobile team at InstructureCon about most of these but thought I'd share for everyone. If you notice a mistake or something I'm missing, let me know and I'll add it to the list. 



There are few subtle differences in the Android and iOS version, which are mostly focused on attaching media to announcement text and the announcement itself.


Attaching Media

The Android version allows teachers to attach an image directly to an announcement. This can be through the camera, local gallery, or directly from the device. In testing, I noticed a few things:


  • You can’t take video and use it as an attachment. The camera would only allow for photos.
  • I could attach a video, but it wasn’t intuitive, which makes me think the app doesn’t want to allow this.
  • You can only attach ONE The app won’t allow you to add a second.
  • Not sure if it’s a bug, but I couldn’t edit an assignment and attach an image.


Mark all as Read

The iOS version gives teachers the ability to “Mark All as Read” for announcements, but it doesn’t work. This might be a holdover from the discussion in the app.


Rich Content Editor (RCE)

The teacher app brings rich context editing for the first time to a Canvas mobile app. This gives instructors the ability to add simple styles to text. This includes the bold, italics, underline (Android only), numbered lists, ordered lists, and links.


The Android version includes the ability to insert an image. To insert an image, you need to know the link to the image. The app doesn’t support uploading any media directly through the the RCE.



On the surface there isn’t much difference between iOS and Android, but the biggest differences come when accessing quiz settings on Android.


The Android and iOS app share the following settings in common:

  • Quiz Type
  • Published (On/Off)
  • Require Access Code (On/Off)


The iOS app allows for even more settings that aren’t available on Android:


  • Assignment Group
  • Shuffle Answers (On/Off)
  • Time Limit (On/Off)
  • Length in minutes
  • Allow Multiple Attempts (On/Off)
  • Let Students See Their Quiz Responses (On/Off)
  • Only Once After Each Attempt (On/Off)
  • Let Students See the Correct Answer (On/Off)
  • Show Correct Answers At
  • Hide Correct Answers At
  • Show One Question at a Time (On/Off)


Quiz Summary Information

The quiz summary shows slightly different information in Android and iOS

  • Android shows points in quiz summary, iOS doesn’t, but does at the top of the quiz details screen.
  • Android shows multiple attempts (Yes/No), while iOS shows number of allowed attempts
  • Android has show correct answers as “Immediately” while iOS is “Always”
  • iOS shows score to keep, but Android doesn’t



The Assignments section in iOS and Android include many of the same RCE features mentioned above, and there is only one difference:

  • Under the submission list, Android can’t filter by Graded.



As mentioned above in Announcements, the RCE on Android and iOS share subtle differences. As for the discussions tool itself, here are a few small differences:

  • iOS allows teachers to subscribe to a discussion, but android doesn’t have this option. 
  • Android can attach photos (no video) the discussions and replies. The iOS version can’t attach photos or videos.
  • Android allows a teacher to like a discussion reply (if enabled on the web)



SpeedGrader is really the heart of this app. It gives teachers the ability to do so much on the go, and with the addition of an iPhone version, it’s even more convenient than before.


The parity between Android and iOS is very good with only a few subtle differences:


  • When annotating, the Android app doesn’t have a button for undo
  • On Android and iOS, a teacher can see the submitting grade under the list of comments. The Android app adds the text “Submitted Files” with the submission.
  • The Android version hides “Add Comments” or “View Long Description” in a Rubric if this hasn't been set on the web. iOS hides "Add Comments" if not set on the web, but shows "View Long Description" regardless. 
  • Teachers can’t add media comments in iOS or Android
  • Rubrics display from smallest to largest, left to right - This is opposite on the web version (8/10 Victoria Maloy)



The Inbox is really a nice upgrade over the existing Canvas App version. It’s quick, easy on the eye and had intuitive features. The only difference I noticed in the inbox is the Android can attach photos to a message.



The profile for iOS has no features to update your profile, while Android has limited features. 



Android and iOS are fundamentally different, so it’s not reasonable to expect perfect parity with how features work on both platforms. For instance, Android generally leans towards drop downs, when iOS uses floating menus. Even with this I noticed a few subtle differences


  • Android can switch users.
  • The Android version has a cool loading animation.