Editor - How to see changes that other app-makers are making in real time

If multiple app builders open a canvas app in the editor at the same time, it's possible to see the modifications that are being made in real-time. This post describes this feature in more detail.

Microsoft has been rolling out the co-presence feature in Power Apps over the past couple of months and most canvas app builders who have worked recently in Power Apps will have encountered this feature.

What is co-presence? The Power Apps editor allows only a single app maker to edit an app. If another app maker attempts to edit the app at the same time, the app will open in read-only mode. Co-presence lets app builders see who else has the app open in the editor. The toolbar section of the editor shows the profile photos of other users with the app open. In the screen navigation pane, a profile photo icon also indicates the active screen that each user has open in the editor.

By default, read-only users cannot see in real time the changes that the app editor makes. The good news is that we can enable this behaviour by changing a value in the settings of an app.

How to allow other app-makers to see changes in real-time

To enable this feature, we select the "Enable live updates" option in the settings of the app.

To highlight how this feature works, let's assume that I (Tim Leung) open the app in edit mode.

When another app builder opens the app, the following message (shown below) appears in the editor -
"This app is read-only because Tim Leung is editing it. No need to refresh - you'll see their changes as they happen"

If I now add controls or change any part of the app, the changes are instantaneously visible to other app makers. There's no need for me to save the app or for the other app makers to refresh the editor.


There have been some great enhancements in collaboration features over the last couple of months. If you're working on apps with other app makers, it can be very useful to turn on the "Enable live updates" feature to see in real-time the changes that are being made.