Canvas App for Android

This page presents a walk-through of the Canvas App for mobile devices running on the Google Android system.

Please note: The screenshots below were taken from a Samsung Galaxy Tablet running on Android 4.2, so there may be slight variations depending on the device and operating system that you are viewing your app on.

Connecting to UW Canvas
Home Stream
Navigation Pane
Specific Course Views
Viewing and Editing Files

Connecting to UW Canvas

  • When you first open the Canvas app, it will prompt you to enter in some information so that the app can connect to Canvas at UW. For the URL, type in and tap Connect.


  • The next page will ask you to sign in with your UW NetID as well as confirmation that you wish to log in to Canvas using this account.


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Home Stream

Once you have logged in to Canvas, you will see an activity stream of recent events including new assignments, announcements, messages and more.

  • Clicking on an event title will open up its details. After doing so, a button will also appear in the top right corner of the screen to allow you to compose a message or leave a comment about the specific event.


  • By clicking on the bottom right triangle under Stream, a drop-down menu will appear, allowing you can choose between displaying the activity stream or a To-Do list.


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Navigation Pane

The Navigation Pane allows the user to access various other Canvas features from the home stream.

  1. Canvas Notebook Button - This button takes you back to the previous page and remains on the top of the app at all times. Clicking on this from a main page (i.e. the Activity Stream page, as shown below)
  2. Activity Stream Page - This page displays default home stream, where you have access to a recent activity stream and to-do list.
  3. Courses - This page displays your list of Favorite Classes by default and allows access to specific course functions. To view your full list of courses, click on the triangle underneath Favorite Classes and select All Courses from the drop-down menu.
  4. Inbox - This page displays your Inbox by default and allows access to all incoming messages from instructors or students. To view only the unread or archived messages, click on the triangle underneath Inbox and select the appropriate option from the drop-down menu. You may also send a new message from this page by clicking the Compose Message button at the bottom of the screen.
  5. Grades - This page displays your grades for your classes. Clicking on the class title allows you to view a more detailed grade report that can be broken down into Assignments, Classwork, Discussions, and Quizzes sections.
  6. Settings - This page allows you to access your Profile, your logged-in Canvas Info, and the Logout button.


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Specific Course Views

After clicking on a specific class title from the Courses page, several other Canvas features for the course become available.

  1. Drop-Down Button - Clicking this button will open up a list of course features
  2. Schedule Page - This default home page provides a link to the class syllabus at the top of the screen and contains a list of past, current, and upcoming assignments and events.
  3. People Page - This page contains a list of everyone currently in the course.
  4. Discussions Page - This displays the discussion boards for the course. You can view and respond to posts on the discussion board here.
  5. Files Page - This displays all course files that are uploaded by the instructor.
  6. Pages Page - This displays course pages/wikis. You cannot edit them on Canvas.


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Viewing and Editing Files

  • When opening files with the Android Canvas App, a screen that asks you to activate "ThinkFree Office" may appear. However, this is not necessary to view most documents and you can simply skip this step by clicking the Later button in the bottom right corner of your screen.
  • After opening editing-enabled files (such as Microsoft Word documents), icons in the upper right corner will appear to allow you to interact with the content.
  1. Font Style Button - Clicking this will display a drop-down menu that lets you  edit the text size, style (Bold, Italic, Superscript, Subscript), color, and alignment.
  2. Insert Graphic Button - Clicking this will display a drop-down menu that lets you insert a picture from your mobile gallery, camera or a scribble pad feature.
  3. Selection Tool Button - Clicking this will display a drop-down menu that lets you choose from various selection tools.
  4. Clipboard Tool Button - Clicking this will display a drop-down menu that lets you copy, cut and/or paste your highlighted selection.
  5. Keyboard Button - Clicking this will pull up your mobile's keyboard for you to type and edit text.


  • Please note: Although all mobile devices may view files, the editing feature may be restricted to tablets only (i.e. not available for cell phones).