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Create stunning mobile reports with the updated mobile authoring in Power BI Desktop

Headshot of article author Michal Foster Heldy

In today’s world, people’s smartphones are not just phones, they are their workspaces, wherever they go. As such, users expect their mobile apps to enable them to perform their tasks, anytime, anywhere. And with Power BI it’s no different. With Power BI Mobile apps, users can monitor their businesses and stay on top of things while on the go.

Back in 2016, we released mobile authoring in Power BI Desktop. Mobile authoring enabled report creators to create report layouts optimized for phones. Creators could select just those visuals best suited to mobile devices and place them in a portrait layout which would then become the default layout of the report when viewed on a phone. Users who still wanted to view the full page could hold their phone in landscape orientation and get the same layout they see in their desktop browser.

While this is still the main process for creating mobile-optimized reports, many new capabilities have been added for report creators in Power BI Desktop June release.

Here are the new experiences and capabilities that will help you build truly stunning, mobile-optimized reports.

New phone emulator and canvas grid

Many of you asked for more flexibility in resizing and placing visuals. You asked to be able to add spaces between visuals, and for text visuals to take less space. You also asked to be able to add more visuals to your pages. As a result, we have updated the phone emulator to support your wishes:

  • The phone emulator now represents modern devices.
  • The old grid has been replaced with a fine-grained grid. Every square of the old grid is now divided into nine smaller squares, giving you more flexibility in placing and resizing visuals.
  • The new grid is longer, enabling you to add more visuals to the page.


Updated visualization pane

To design mobile optimized reports that display the right amount of data, you need to choose the appropriate visuals from the visualization pane. With the updated visualization pane, it is now easier to choose the right visuals.

  • You can find your desired visual by looking for its name.
  • A new visibility indicator allows you to differentiate between hidden and shown visuals.

Overlaid visuals

Overlaying makes it possible to build finer, interactive reports. The ability to place one visual on top of another opens up limitless design options. You can place a visual on top of an image to get a more refined and better looking report, or you can use the show/hide option together with bookmarks to create a truly interactive report. Up until now, all these design possibilities were difficult to realize in mobile-optimized reports. Today, the ability to overlay visuals makes it possible for you to use the same design techniques you use in web layout to create beautiful, interactive, mobile-optimized reports.

  • Overlaying visuals on top of an image.

  • Interactive report using overlaying visuals and action buttons.

To start creating amazing mobile-optimized reports go to View > Mobile layout in Power BI Desktop, and drag and drop your visuals onto the canvas.

Note: We’re starting to roll out an equivalent mobile authoring experience in the Power BI service this week. It should be available to all users about a week after the Power BI Desktop June release.


Let us know what you think!

We strive to continuously improve and enhance this area, and we greatly appreciate any feedback you have about the new capabilities and how you think we can improve them! So give it a try. We hope to hear from you!