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Why The Pull-To-Refresh Gesture Must Die

The pull-to-refresh gesture is far from new. An endless number of apps use the interaction for in-app content updates, including Apple’s native email client, social apps like Twitter and Foursquare, and most news applications such as The New York Times. But years after designer Loren Brichter first dreamed up the novel interaction to get rid of UI clutter, Kevin Systrom and others now feel it’s outmoded—an unnecessary extra step. After all, smartphones are fast and strong enough to auto-refresh. And Systrom says moving beyond refresh buttons and actions will give mobile services a more “real-time” feel.