Gmail for iOS has received a handy update that significantly reduces the amount of time you'll have to wait to load messages and check email, among other things.

According to a new blog post, published by Google on Wednesday, you can now retrieve Gmail messages quickly whether it is "first thing in the morning" or "as you're waiting in line at the grocery store", because the email app now supports background app refresh. That means Gmail will pre-fetch and sync all your messages, so you can open the app and start viewing them without waiting for a complete inbox refresh.

"This feature requires iOS 7, and you’ll also need to turn on background app refresh and notifications (badge or any other type) for the Gmail app," explained Google in its blog post, where it also revealed the Gmail app has updated with a second time-saving feature that minimises the number of times you'll have to sign into Google's apps.

Specifically, the Gmail app now supports auto-login across all of Google's iOS apps. Just sign into Gmail or Google Maps or Google Drive or YouTube or Chrome - whichever Google iOS app you prefer - to login into every one. The same thing goes for signing out. You therefore won't have to type in a password or get a two-step verification code when you open another Google app.

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However, Google warned you might need to sign after you update a Google iOS app. Speaking of updates, you can get the new Gmail for iOS update today. The latest version of the app is now available for download in Apple's App Store free of charge.