App review guidelines

How to pass Canva's app review process.

Before your app can be released to the public, it must go through and pass Canva's review process.

This page outlines Canva's review criteria for developer apps as well as some best practices to consider during development. This will help you understand the review process so you can develop and easily release your app.

After submission, a reviewer from the Canva Apps team verifies if your app's suitable for distribution via the Apps Directory.

Before submission

Use the following sections as a checklist to ensure that your app is ready for submission.

Check email

When submitting your app, make sure that the email address that you use to log in to Canva is integrated with your external platform. This helps to associate your app with that platform.

Read Canva's terms and conditions

Canva's terms and conditions contain essential information about our basic expectations for developers and their apps.

At a minimum, read the following pages:

You're asked to agree to these terms when submitting an app.

Use a suitable hosting platform

If your app sends HTTP requests to a third-party server, use a hosting platform that's reliable, secure, and capable of handling the expected traffic.

For production apps, don't use free services, such as Glitch. Free servers can be slow and sleep after a few minutes of inactivity, which causes timeout errors when opening an app.

Follow Canva's brand guidelines

If your app integrates with a third-party platform, any references to Canva on that platform must adhere to Canva's brand guidelines.

Follow the design guidelines

Canva's Design Guidelines outline how to create delightful apps. To reduce the amount of time your app spends in review, double-check it follows the guidelines.

Test signature verification

If your app uses the Authentication or Fetch capabilities, you must pass signature verification tests as a prerequisite of submitting your app.

Secure your app

Use reasonable security measures to protect your app and its users.

At a minimum:

  • Implement encryption and a strong password policy.
  • Sanitize names received from Canva.
  • Avoid security issues such as XSS, CSRF attacks, or path traversal.
  • Handle maximum length and unsupported characters suitably.
  • Avoid OWASP Top 10 risks.

Test the app

Run through the app to ensure it's complete and everything works as expected. This avoids friction in the review phase and reduces the chances of rejection.

At a minimum, test the following:

  • Core functionality
  • Authentication flow:
    • With and without an active session
    • With an existing user
    • With a newly signed up user
  • Endpoints
  • Links
  • Buttons

Canva monitors the app's health regularly and might disable the app if there's a high error rate.

Create the App Directory listing

Your app's listing in the Apps Directory drives attention and engagement to your app once released. Before submitting your app, create copy and graphics that clearly communicate your app's benefits.

For a complete list of guidelines, see Create your app listing.

Review the copy

Your app's copy reflects its quality. Keep the language simple and free from typos and formatting errors. Proofread the copy, run a spellcheck, and review the grammar and punctuation. Remove any external links.

Provide the required details

We need the following details before proceeding with the app review.

  • Login details for a test account that allow the reviewer to test the app's full functionality (required only if the app uses authentication).
  • Documentation that explains how the platform works.
  • Documentation that lets the reviewer know where to find content if your app provides it.

Depending on the complexity of the app, the above steps might be able to be skipped.

Recommendation

Creating an app on Canva means you can get your product or idea in front of 85M+ users. To leverage the most use of your app possible, we recommend making your app free to use, which leads to more users trying the app and discovering your platform, likely leading to more sign-ups.

Design apps for mobile devices

One of Canva's goals is to empower the world to design on every device. This means, where practical, apps should be designed to work well on desktop and mobile devices.

If it's not practical for an app to work well on mobile devices:

  1. Navigate to the app via the Developer Portal.
  2. Select the Device > Desktop only option.

If a user on a mobile device attempts to open an app that has the Desktop only option enabled, they will be shown a message prompting them to use the app on a non-mobile device.

It's not possible to create apps that are only available on mobile devices. All apps must support desktop devices.

For apps that are available on mobile devices, consider the following guidelines:

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.

Optimize interactions for different devices

It's easy to be precise with a desktop computer and a mouse, but many users interact with a touchscreen with their finger. Find a balance that works well across a range of hardware.

Handle low-power mode

If a user's device enters low-power mode, it affects 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.

Test the app on real devices

You can use Chrome DevTools to simulate different resolutions and devices, but the ideal is to test the app on actual hardware, as there's usually nuances that aren't captured in the simulations.

To test an app on a real device:

  1. Set up, configure, and connect the app via the Developer Portal. (This is most easily done on a desktop device, as the Developer Portal is not responsive.)
  2. Open Canva on a mobile device, either via the browser or with the iOS or Android app.
  3. Open the draft version of the app via the Apps tab.

After submission

After developing your app and submitting it for review, the Canva Ecosystem team checks if it meets Canva's guidelines.

Duration

You can expect to receive feedback from the team within 5 business days.

Updates

Updates and messages from the team are added to your ticket, which is automatically generated once you submit your app via the Developer Portal.

You also receive feedback via the portal when we approve or reject your app.