Check Mail in iOS with a Pull-to-Refresh Gesture
Mail generally automatically checks itself when launched in iOS, or mail checks itself every some-odd amount of minutes based on your Push and Fetch settings. But any modern version of iOS Mail app will not find a standard mail refresh button, but that doesn’t mean you can’t forcibly check mail yourself when you want to on any iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
Check for Mail with a Refresh Gesture on iPhone & iPad
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.
Any new email messages will then populate in the Mail app as usual.
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…
For Mail for iOS, this feature exists from iOS 6 onward, as the pull to refresh gesture has replaced the familiar circle “Refresh” button, which was in the the lower left corner of the inbox window. No big deal, just pull to refresh your Mail instead.