iOS Gmail app gets background sync to cut new mail lag

Google has updated the Gmail app for iOS to support background refreshing, meaning the app will now download new email in the background rather than forcing the user to wait when it's opened. The new version, v3.0, now pre-fetches messages and synchronizes the inbox, taking advantage of iOS 7 to speed up the reading process.

Until now, the Gmail iOS app only began synchronizing with Google's servers once it had been actually opened on the iPhone or iPad. That meant a lag in seeing the latest messages, even if they'd shown up in lockscreen notifications already.

Meanwhile, there's now sign-in access across multiple Google iOS apps, including YouTube, Chrome, Google Maps, and Google Drive. Signing into Gmail with one account shares those login credentials across each of the other apps, including if you're securing your account (as you really should be) with 2-step verification.

Google Drive got cross-app sign-in access back in November 2013, in addition to support for multiple accounts. Printing abilities for documents stored in the cloud storage was also enabled.

Google warns that users may have to re-login after updating the Gmail app, which is available now in the App Store.