Check Mail in iOS 6 with a Pull-to-Refresh Gesture
Mail generally automatically checks itself when launched, or every some-odd amount of minutes based on your Push and Fetch settings. From iOS 6 onward the familiar circle “Refresh” button is gone from the lower left corner though, but that doesn’t mean you can’t forcibly check mail yourself when you want to.
To immediately check for new mail right away just tap and hold on any message from the top of the inbox and pull down and then release. You’ll see a little rubber-band style followed by the spinning progress indicator as Mail pings the server to check for new messages. The gesture works the same on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
This popular “pull to refresh” gesture was famously introduced (and patented) by Twitter in their iPhone and iPad apps, and now it’s getting wider use across iOS in other apps too. Once you get the hang of it, it’s actually much quicker since there is no precision touch point required and can be activated from anywhere. Now, if only Safari would adopt the same feature…