What are the differences between Canvas for iPhone and Canvas for iPad?

The Short Answer

Canvas is available on LiDAR-enabled iPhones and iPad, but, as Canvas for iPhone is much newer, there are a few differences you may notice between the two app experiences. These will (for the most part) be unified over the next few months.

In general, if you are intending to use Canvas for everyday professional use (in particular scanning whole homes), you may find Canvas for iPad to be more feature-rich and convenient. Canvas for iPhone will, however, still allow you to do the absolute majority of core features to scan rooms, measure, and use Scan To CAD.

Canvas can be downloaded on the iPad App Store under “ Canvas: iPad 3D Room Scanner,” and Canvas can be downloaded on the iPhone App Store under “Canvas: Pocket Room Scanner.” 

When used with LiDAR, there is no difference between scanning with Canvas on iPhone or iPad. You can learn more about accuracy here

The Long Answer

While you may encounter many small UI differences, the biggest differences between the two apps are as follows. To reiterate, in most cases these differences are temporary due to the newness of Canvas for iPhone. 

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to support@canvas.io.

Scanning experience

With Canvas for iPad, we not only allow, but encourage you to move around the room as you scan. You can see this in action in our scanning tutorial video:

With Canvas for iPhone, the scanning experience is intended for you to stand in the center of the room and spin around. It looks like this:

This is a pro in that it is substantially easier to do, and generates a result with much higher visual quality. However, it also means you may need to take multiple scans if you need to scan behind objects, scan down hallways, etc. 

Ability to scan without LiDAR

Canvas for iPhone allows you to scan without a LiDAR sensor, whereas Canvas for iPad does not. You can read more about scanning without LiDAR here: Can I use Canvas without LiDAR?

Mesh detail and texture quality

Canvas for iPhone, when used with LiDAR, uses our very latest technology for meshing and texturing your scan, harnessing the access to the LiDAR sensor’s raw depth data provided in iOS 14. 

You can see an example of a scan with Canvas for iPad (using LiDAR) here:

You can see an example of the same scan completed with Canvas for iPhone (using LiDAR) here:

Canvas for iPhone without LiDAR will generally result in a worse quality mesh, as scale has to be perceived from camera images vs. actual depth data. You can see an example here:

On-device vs. cloud reprocessing

For scans taken with Canvas on a LiDAR-enabled iPhone, you can reprocess your  360 scans on-device, without requiring cloud upload. Scans taken with Canvas on a LiDAR-enabled iPad, scans taken without LiDAR, or Walkthrough iPhone scans require cloud upload for reprocessing.

You can learn more about reprocessing here: What is cloud reprocessing and what do I get from it?

Multiple homes

In Canvas for iPad, you can easily manage different clients by putting all your scans in different homes. In Canvas for iPhone, all scans are in the same home, as the concept of homes has not yet been introduced into the iPhone app.  

Photos & Notes

In Canvas for iPad, you add additional photos, audio memos, and text notes to your home as an extra set of documentation tools. This feature is not available in Canvas for iPhone at this time.

Order History and Account Management

In Canvas for iPad, we provide several tools for managing your Canvas account and orders, including an order history, the ability to add saved payment information, change units, and more. 

You may log in with your Canvas account on Canvas for iPhone, but these features are not available on the iPhone app. However, you can accomplish most account-related tasks in the Canvas Account Portal, and these changes will sync back to the Canvas app.

You can learn more about the Canvas Account portal here: What can I do with my Canvas Account Portal?

Remote capture flow

In Canvas for iPhone, we have a beta workflow for enabling clients to be able to work with you remotely. In short, you send them a special access code that they use with the Canvas app, and the resulting scan data will be associated with your account (and billing). 

This workflow is not available in the Canvas iPad app, and requires special set-up to be activated. If you are interested in having your clients scan their space for you, please email support@canvas.io.