What device should I use with Canvas?

The Short Answer

To use Canvas, you'll want an iPad or iPhone with an embedded LiDAR sensor. The cheapest compatible iPad is the 11-inch iPad Pro 2nd Generation, which starts at $799, and the cheapest compatible iPhone is the iPhone 12 Pro, which starts at $999. Only the latest generation of iPad and iPhone Pros (released in 2020) are equipped with the LiDAR sensor.

Canvas can also be used on certain iPhones without a LiDAR sensor in some circumstances, but with limitations on accuracy. You can learn more about using Canvas without LiDAR here: Can Canvas be used with an iPhone or iPad without LiDAR?

Amongst LiDAR-enabled iOS devices, RAM, storage, Wi-Fi vs. Cellular, etc. will not dramatically affect your scanning experience, but may affect overall convenience. 

Canvas is currently only compatible with iOS devices. If you would like to be notified about support for other devices (such as Android or Windows), please reach out to us at support@canvas.io

The Long Answer

Canvas requires a 3D sensor to be able to measure distances and create scale-accurate 3D models. The following iPads have the requisite 3D sensor (on iOS, called the "LiDAR sensor") built into the device:

  • iPhone 12 Pro: Models A2341 (A14 Bionic Chip)
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max: A2342 (A14 Bionic Chip)
  • 11-inch iPad Pro 2nd Generation: Models A2228, A2068, A2230, A2231 (A12Z Processor)
  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro 4th Generation: Models A2229, A2069, A2233 (A12Z Processor)

These iPads require no additional hardware and you can simply download Canvas and start scanning.

If you already have a Structure Sensor, you can "upgrade" any of the following existing iPads to be capable of 3D scanning with Canvas.

  • 11-inch iPad Pro 1st Generation (pre-2020): Models A1980, A2013, A1934 (A12X Processor)
  • iPad Mini 5: Models: A2133, A2124, A2126, A2125 (A12X Processor)
  • 10.5-inch iPad Pro: Models A1701 and A1709 (A10X Processor)
  • iPad 7th Generation: Models A2197, A2200, A2198 (A10X Processor)
  • iPad 6th Generation: Models A1893, A1823, A1954 (A10X Processor)
  • iPad 5th Generation: Models A1822 and A1823 (A9 Processor)
  • 9.7-inch iPad Pro: Models A1673, A1674 or A1675 (A9X Processor)
  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro (pre-2020): Models A1584 or A1652 (A9X Processor) for 1st Generation; 1670, or 1671 (A10X Processor for A1670 or A1671) for 2nd Generation; (A12X, A1876, A1983) for 3rd Generation; 
  • iPad Air 3rd Generation (2019): Models: A2152, A2123, A2153, A2154 (A12X Processor)
  • iPad Air 2: Models A1566 and A1567 (A8X Processor)
  • iPad mini 4: Models A1538 and A1550 (A8 Processor)
  • iPad Air (not recommended): Models A1474, A1475, A1476 

To identify which iPad you have, take a look at the model number on the back cover:

The "right device" will be different depending on the use case, but you may want to consider RAM, storage, and portability.

RAM

This stands for "random-access memory," and it basically means "How much can your device do at once?" 3D scanning is a memory-intensive process, so having sufficient RAM is important to ensure your device doesn't run out of RAM while scanning (if it does, your scan will be auto-saved, but it will take more scans to cover a given area). All LiDAR-enabled iOS devices should have sufficient RAM for running Canvas, but you may find older devices with less RAM to be slower and capable of scanning less space at once. 

Storage:

Storage refers to the amount of data your device can hold at one time. When using Canvas, it affects the number of scans or homes you can hold on the device at one time. 

While the total storage footprint for a home can be all over the place, in our experience the average typically ranges from 500MB to 2GB. Since the operating system usually takes up 8-11GB (according to Apple's website), that means that if you have only 16GB of storage, in the worst case you might have only 5GB available for Canvas, which may correspond to only a few homes. If you had a 256GB iPad, you would be able to store several hundred homes.

Generally speaking, this is very rarely a practical concern for our customers, unless you are using the device to store a lot of other photo, video, or audio files that also take up space, or you are scanning multiple full homes every day. If you're using Scan To CAD, the scans are emailed to you along with your CAD models, so most customers clear their iPad of a home after it goes through Scan To CAD (2 business days). If you are clearing your scans regularly after they go through Scan To CAD (or exporting via email or Airdrop if you are using them in other workflows), then you shouldn't have to worry much about storage. We do recommend going for at least the 32GB models for convenience, but even with the 16GB you should have enough storage to scan a few homes, upload/export your scans for safe-keeping, and then delete them to make room for more. 

Further, one of the benefits of the Canvas Business membership is "automatic storage optimization." This means that after your scans are uploaded to the cloud, we can remove the raw data (which is only needed for reprocessing and Scan To CAD, and nothing locally) from your device. This saves ~90% of a typical scan's storage footprint, and you can keep way more homes on your device. 

Portability:

If you're traveling from job site to job site or using Canvas multiple times per week or month, portability is also something to factor into your decision. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro models are very large devices, and this can make them fairly clunky to transport. By contrast, the iPhone 12 Pro is very compact, and you can also use it as your primary phone. 

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to drop us a line at  support@canvas.io. Happy scanning!

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