iOS 8: Changing the Contacts in the App Switcher

Under iOS 8, if you double-click the Home button, you’ll see a list of contacts appear at the top.

It’s like my friends are in the witness-protection program!

That list is intended to help you quickly get in touch with the people you know. Tap someone’s avatar, and you’ll be given a variety of ways to make a connection.

Here’s a neat trick, though—you can change what contacts this shows you. Visit Settings> Mail, Contacts, Calendars, and then scroll down and touch “Show In App Switcher” to find out what you’ve got configured.

On your iPhone, the choices you have are “Phone Favorites” and “Recents”—and both can be toggled on at once if you like. 

(On an iPad, the only option you’ll have there is to turn “Recents” off or on.)

“Phone Favorites” is just what it sounds like—if you open the phone app and tap on the “Favorites” tab, you can add people in or remove them. With that toggled on under the “Show In App Switcher” setting, you’ll see shortcuts to those favorited folks when you double-click the Home button. 

Alternatively, if you turn on “Recents,” the App Switcher list will change depending on whom you’ve called or messaged most recently. I like this choice far less than the “Phone Favorites” one; I’m not a fan of seeing different people—some of whom I don’t contact very often—pop up in my App Switcher.

People without avatars showing up there? The horror.