I really like pull-to-refresh as a way to force an update of a reverse-chronological list. However I've noticed a somewhat awkward pattern in my own use of pull-to-refresh, and I assume I'm not the only user who does this:
When I pull a list to refresh it, but there were no new items to be added to the top, I tend to pull again just a bit to make sure that there really are no new items hidden above the top. I do that even if I know that the app would give me visual feedback if there were new items. I even do that in an app that I worked on myself, where I should know better than anyone else that I would definitely see the new content, if there were any.
In other words, the absence of feedback does not translate to a feedback of absence, and of course I always feel a bit stupid after trying to scroll "just to make sure".
The only solution I can come up with is some sort of explicit "there are no new items" message after a successful yet empty pull, but this a) seems like it could become annoying very quickly, and b) it feels like it breaks the metaphor of pull-to-refresh, where the whole point is that the scrolling motion is "fluently" turned into a check for new data.
Is there any good way to signify visually that the pull-to-refresh polled the server (or similar) successfully for new data, but there simply wasn't any? Any examples of apps that handle this well?