Canvas Mobile Update - Spring 2020 Preview

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With so many institutions moving to online instruction during the pandemic, Canvas Mobile is due for a big update!



New Features

QR for Mobile Login (Available starting March 28 for students, April 4 for teachers and observers)

This feature appears in the Canvas Student 6.7 Release Notes and is now available in the Ready Release Notes (Ready Release Notes (2020-03-28) > Updated Features > User Navigation > Mobile App Login QR Code).

For teachers and observers, the QR code login will be available for the Teacher and Parent apps beginning April 4, 2020. Go to Ready Release Notes (2020-04-04) > User Navigation > Teacher/Observer Mobile App Login QR Code.

This is a feature that is most requested by Canvas users worldwide (" modifiedtitle="true" titl...). You can finally login on your mobile device using the QR codes for mobile login. This can be done through the Canvas website and going to Account > QR for Mobile Login (as shown below) from the Global Navigation Bar.

QR code mobile login


QR for Mobile Login

QR for Mobile Login. This is already available in the beta environment and will be available in the production environment in the first two Ready Releases on March 28 for students and April 4 for teachers and observers.


Once you click on it, to log in to your Canvas account when you're on the go, just simply scan the QR code from the Canvas Mobile app (Change User > QR Login (below Find My School)). The code expires after 10 minutes, after which you will need to start the process over.


QR code example

Sample QR code. For security reasons, we had to wait 10 minutes before posting this so that the code is invalidated.


Native Conferences List

You can view any conferences made within Canvas from this section. Webviews are no longer used. Students can join in by tapping the green Join button.


Canvas Conferences is a free service provided by BigBlueButton.
If your institution is likely to need more than 10 concurrent Conferences powered by BigBlueButton, we recommend upgrading to Premium BigBlueButton or exploring alternative conferencing solutions Canvas partners with, such as Zoom, Hangouts, Teams, and other video conferencing tools who are offering free or discounted services. Learn more.
Not all of these services may be supported by your institution. Please contact your local admin for more information.


Native Conferences

Sample conference. There is no Join button because the conference has not started.



Experimental Features

There are some experimental features in the iOS version of Canvas. Unless stated otherwise, experimental features are available in both the Student and Teacher apps.

(Those are view-only, just ignore them. Only our production team can control these features remotely.)

Experimental features


conferences (TEACHER ONLY)
Enable the native view for the Conferences in the Teacher app.


You can view your favorite groups in the Groups tab.


We don't know what this is, but it may render discussions faster in areas with low-bandwidth, hence the name Simple Discussion Renderer.


Enables the GraphQL data query engine for the SpeedGrader. Learn more.


Refresh access tokens.




New options to mute course notifications (Mute Notifications by Course).


parent_inbox (TEACHER ONLY)
Allows teachers to receive Canvas messages from parents (Canvas Parent Release Notes (iOS 3.1)).


parent_calendar (TEACHER ONLY)
This is useful if parents want to notify their child's teacher about certain events, such as a doctor's appointment. This can come handy for teachers to mark absences as excused.


student_calendar (STUDENT ONLY)
It allows you to access your own calendar that is not part of any course.




qr_code_login_enabled (STUDENT ONLY)
This refers to the QR for Mobile Login feature above, which will be enabled on March 28 for students and April 4 for teachers and observers.


Other Features

There is a more responsive layout, though we haven't tested it yet.


Want to learn more?

Please stay tuned to the Canvas Mobile Release Notes space (Release Notes: Mobile) over the next few days to get a broader look at these features. We hope you continue to excel!

And please tune in to the Zoom Meeting on the Canvas Mobile Q&A (Canvas Mobile Apps | Q&A) Wednesday at 2e/1c/11p!




The Canvas Student 6.7 update is available for download through the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.


Teachers & Observers

The Canvas Teacher and Parent app updates will be available starting on April 4.



Will Conferences be in the Parent app?
Canvas Conferences are only available in the Student app for the time being.


Will LTI integrations (i.e., Pearson) work in mobile apps?
There is no LTI standard that works across mobile applications.


Are cloud assignments (3rd-party apps) supported?
Go here: How do I submit an assignment from a third-party app to the Student app on my iOS device?


Essential Mobile Resources
How do I submit an assignment from a third-party app to the Student app on my iOS device?


DeLaSalle High School
Jillian Patch
Mente Piccoli
University of Central Florida



Minor changes are not shown.


Date Changes
2020-04-03 Added QR code login for teachers and observers
2020-03-25 Added info from Zoom meeting
2020-03-24 Initial release