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iOS 8 Safari now scans credit cards with iPhone camera, quick contacts come to multitasking view

Apple's changes to iOS 8 both big and small are largely focused on convenience, making it easier and faster for users to access the information they want. Two of the best examples of this come in the form of relatively minor tweaks: a new credit card scanning function in Safari, and a list of favorite and recent contacts in the multitasking view.

When placing an order in Safari, the keyboard in iOS 8 now features an option that reads "Scan Credit Card." Once this is selected, the rear camera on the iPhone is opened and users can quickly scan in a card without having to enter the data.

Using this feature for the first time prompts dialogs requesting the user to grant Safari access not only to the iPhone's camera, but also to its list of contacts. Presumably Apple attempts to match up the scanned data with contact data in an effort to ensure it is as accurate as possible.

Once scanned, the name and credit card number are automatically entered into the accompanying spaces. Users can also quickly jump between entry menus on a website with arrows that appear above the keyboard.

Efficiency was also the goal in Apple's newly improved multitasking view, which now features contacts' names and images at the top of the screen. By simply double-tapping the home button, users are presented with a list of recently opened applications, as well as recent contacts, whose pictures are presented as circles.

While recent contacts are shown by default, users can flip to the left and also access their list of "favorites" saved in their iPhone contacts. Choosing a contact gives users the ability to quickly dial any of their numbers, send a text, or initiate a FaceTime call or video session.