Designing apps for mobile devices

Canva wants to empower the world to design on every device. To accomplish this, Canva expects apps to provide a first-class experience on mobile (and other non-desktop) devices. This page contains mobile-specific guidelines for apps.

These guidelines only apply to extensions with custom frontends, such as editing extensions. Extensions without custom frontends are already optimized for mobile devices.

Support the required operating systems

At a minimum, Canva expects apps to support the following versions of mobile operating systems:

  • iOS 12

  • Android 5.0

To confirm if these browsers support a feature, visit caniuse.com.

An example of a useful feature that is not available in iOS 12 is OffscreenCanvas.

Handle low power mode

If a user enters low power mode on their device, it may affect the capabilities of the app. For example, iOS throttles the requestAnimationFrame method.

To confirm how your app behaves in low power mode, enable the mode and test the app.

Optimize the touch interactions for different devices

If an extension supports touch interactions, verify that the interactions feel intuitive on desktop and non-desktop devices. It's easy to be precise with a desktop computer and a mouse, but many users may be using their finger on a touchscreen. Find a balance that feels good across a range of hardware.

Check for performance warnings

When a user installs an app that renders its own frontend, Canva invisibly runs the app in the background and detects if the user may have issues running the app on their device. If Canva detects an issue, it shows an error notification to the user.

Test your app on a range of devices -- in particular, older hardware -- to verify that users won't encounter performance warnings.