BSE embed on Canvas mobile app—does vanity domain setup make a difference?

cameronzimny Dallas, TXFounder Posts: 28 ✭✭
edited May 21 in Higher Education

At present we do not have a vanity domain setup for our Canvas-KAF implementation.

Canvas Student mobile app on iPhone (iOS 14.5.1): Videos embedded using BSE:

Instead of loading the player, it loads a button that says "Launch External Tool." (see attached image 1)

Clicking the button loads the video for playback in a "new window." (see attached image 2)

Does anyone know if having the vanity URL setup makes this process any different?

Thank you in advance.

(Other notes: Videos embedded using KMC-generated Share & Embed codes display in the app [at the expense of analytics]. BSE-embedded videos do load on the page in mobile Chrome and Safari on iPhone as long as you've set the cookies to be allowed.)

Best Answers

  • rburriel
    rburriel OregonFounder Posts: 48 ✭✭✭
    Accepted Answer

    With vanity domain installed, in the Canvas Student app for iOS, we still get the Launch External Tool button - which is expected - but upon opening the external tool, we load and the video loads. So it may indeed be that a vanity URL is necessary to make this work properly.

    Raul @ Oregon State

  • chriscas
    chriscas Dearborn, MI, USAFounder Posts: 4
    Accepted Answer

    We have a vanity domain for Canvas and KAF, but the Canvas student app appears to be unable to load embedded videos properly for us at all. When we click the launch button, we end up in Media Gallery instead of seeing the video. Oddly, when doing a preview (hold the button and wait), the video appears. I think the Canvas app is the broken thing here, but Instructure support responded back to me and said this is expected behavior and it's due to iOS restrictions. They told us to have students use Safari, but only for viewing Kaltura videos, since Canvas doesn't otherwise support mobile browsers. What a mess!

    Video of the issue at

  • thomas_ellis
    thomas_ellis Virginia, U.S.Kalturian Posts: 35 ✭✭
    Accepted Answer

    Definitely related to the iOS Canvas app. I have both iOS and Android and it works fine to display the content in the Android version where the iOS version just gives the launch external tool button. So it's related to iOS and the handling of external tools. If you take a page in a course and insert a KMC or KMS embed code (not BSE) then the video will load fine in the iOS Canvas app as expected.

    Thomas Ellis | Principal Solutions Engineer Kaltura



  • Russ
    Russ USAModerator, Kalturian Posts: 98 mod
    edited May 20

    Our demo environment for Canvas is on a vanity domain, and in the Canvas Teacher app I see both the video (in this case an announcement added via BSE) to play in-app, but also the launch external tool button. Maybe someone like @rburriel could try it out and let us know for another opinion?

    Even a video quiz with transcript played in app (though it did prompt be to rotate to lanscape when launching the quiz.)

  • cameronzimny
    cameronzimny Dallas, TXFounder Posts: 28 ✭✭

    @rburriel in the next window that loads after clicking "Launch External Tool," the video does play, which is good. But unless there's a sentence above that says there's a video below, how are users informed that "Launch External Tool" button is actually a video to watch? (To be clear, I am a fan of the vanity URL and it showing instead of the, we're just not that far along yet.)

    I'm wondering more about if the vanity URL is necessary to achieve what @Russ showed.

    Also, @Russ – are those screenshots from the Canvas Teacher app for iOS?

    Appreciate the insights, y'all.

  • rburriel
    rburriel OregonFounder Posts: 48 ✭✭✭

    Good point, @cameronzimny . Ideally, in-line playback is preferred, but as far as I know, that's only possible in the browser (and only possible on iPhones with special UIVars in the player - oddly, iPads don't appear to need the special UIVars). The Canvas Student app experience is not ideal. I don't know of a way to avoid the "Launch External Tool" behavior entirely. I wonder if we can customize the "Launch External Tool" language.

    Raul @ Oregon State

  • Russ
    Russ USAModerator, Kalturian Posts: 98 mod

    The screenshots are from the Canvas Teacher App for Android (that's what I have available.) Sorry, I should have specified - and I'm not sure if the vanity domains impact it, or it's just quirks with the app.

  • cameronzimny
    cameronzimny Dallas, TXFounder Posts: 28 ✭✭

    @rburriel Great minds think alike; I also wondered if it's possible to customize that button's language in Canvas.

    RE: playback on iPhones: I did some testing of this just the other day. In Safari on iPhone, the BSE player loads in-line, but the iOS player takes over once you hit play. With the "Enable new mobile skin" option selected for the player, it loads the mobile skin only in the sense that it shows the big blue circle play button instead of the traditional square-ish one; the iOS player once again takes over when you hit play.

    One weird/unfortunate thing about the in-line BSE player (still on Safari): the height of the iframe embed is enforced, leaving a large blank space underneath the player (unless you have a very small/not tall player). (The player "displays" at appropriate 16:9 dimensions, but the frame actually extends down as far as defined in the code. So if there's any text/content beneath the player it could be easy to miss.)

    @Russ Thanks for clarifying. Based (only) on what we've gathered so far in this thread, it appears the Canvas apps for Android display the actual BSE video on the page (and the Launch button), whereas the Canvas app for iOS only displays the Launch button. Interesting.

  • rburriel
    rburriel OregonFounder Posts: 48 ✭✭✭

    There is an issue related to the player embeds through the BSE as it's an iframe and the iframe dimensions appear to be fixed. This didn't land on our radar until we started exploring playlist embeds where the playlist exceeded 500px in height. Anything beyond 500px gets rescaled and you end up with bars in the video yet the extra space you defined remains in the iframe... but it's blank. See the attached screenshot.

    On the left is the playlist we defined (578x608). On the right is how it appears when embedded via BSE (500x608), with an extra 78px of space underneath and pillar bars on the video.

    We opened case #00344008 with Kaltura. Long story short, I'm told a fix is imminent.

  • Dani
    Dani Northern California USAKalturian Posts: 242 admin

    @rburriel @cameronzimny @Russ great dialogue!

    Raul let us know if you have an update on the case, I am also checking internally.

    Thanks and have a great weekend!


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