Power Apps Comparison Model Driven vs Canvas Apps for Mobile Deployment

Power Apps Comparison: Model Driven vs Canvas Apps for Mobile Deployment”

In the dynamic world of Power Apps, the distinction between canvas and model-driven apps plays a pivotal role, especially concerning mobile deployment. This article sheds light on this comparison, highlighting the nuances of their appearance and usability on mobile platforms. If you’re grappling with the intricacies of why a model-driven app might not be visible in your mobile application, this guide is tailored for you.

Support for Both App Types on Mobile

Mobile platforms for both iOS and Android support the functionalities of canvas as well as model-driven apps. Historically, the mobile player primarily catered to canvas apps. But with Microsoft’s initiative towards the end of 2020, support was extended to model-driven apps, opening avenues for enhanced mobile compatibility.

Unique Advantages of Model Driven Apps

One significant edge that model-driven apps offer over canvas apps for mobile users is the native offline usage support. This alleviates the need for users to implement custom formulas invoking the SaveData/LoadData functions, a mandatory step for offline compatibility in canvas apps.

Challenges with Model Driven Apps Visibility

Despite the advantages, users occasionally face challenges in locating and accessing model-driven apps on their mobile platforms. Typically, the mobile player displays only those model-driven apps termed as ‘production apps’, causing discrepancies in user expectations.

The environment in which an app is hosted determines its classification as a production app. Specifically, the ‘Type’ settings of an Environment carry this designation. For instance, if you employ the community edition of Power Apps, the environment assumes the ‘developer’ type.

To ensure the visibility of model-driven apps built in non-production environments on mobile platforms, users must tweak a particular setting within the mobile player.

Steps to Display Non-production Apps

Once the mobile player is active, tap on the head icon to access the settings menu. Navigate towards the bottom, and you’ll find an option titled ‘Show non-production apps’. Enabling this ensures that all non-production model-driven apps become visible in the app list, ready for use.


Grasping the differences between canvas and model-driven apps in Power Apps is essential for optimal mobile deployment. By understanding their individual quirks and functionalities, users can harness the best of both worlds. If you encounter challenges or need further clarity on this topic or any related technical issue, we’re here to help. Feel free to contact us, and our experts will guide you every step of the way, ensuring seamless Power Apps deployment.

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