Google’s Gmail app for Android came out a few years ago, but it failed to live up to expectations. How could anything after that much anticipation? The UI had some odd quirks that were eventually ironed out, but the lack of background sync was still a sticking point—until now. Gmail v3.0 for iOS includes background mail delivery on compatible devices.
The updated Gmail app now takes full advantage of the iOS 7 background refresh capability. That means the app will periodically wake up and check for new mail. To receive alerts you must have at least one type of notification turned on in the iOS settings (badge, banner, or alert). Background app refresh must also be enabled globally. When you open the app, there is no longer an additional wait as mail is downloaded—it’s already there.
If you use a lot of Google apps, the other big change in Gmail v3.0 will be exciting too. It now supports single sign-on for all other Google apps. So if you install another Maps or Drive or open a newly updated app, you can sign in automatically with the Gmail credentials on your device. This will come as a massive relief to anyone using 2-step verification.
The update is live in the App Store and is completely free to download.