Google has been making a point of steadily introducing new features into Google+, and Google+ features into the rest of their services. Today the social service is getting better integrated into Gmail with a bunch of new features that let you access and utilize your circles from within your inbox.
Firstly, the most recent post any given friend has shared with you will be displayed to the right of each of their emails. There is also an “Add to circles” button to add them if you haven’t already. Next up is filters for Google+ circles (image above), allowing you to filter your mails by all of your circles or a specific one. Circle names can also be attached in the subject line of emails, much the same as labels.
Another nice addition is automatic syncing of contact information. Now, in Gmail each entry for your contacts will be filled out automatically using info from the person’s Google profile. Changes in the future will of course stay in sync and the standalone version of Google Contacts gets the same treatment. Last but not least is the ability to automatically “Share” attachments to Google+ from directly in the email (image below). A new “Share” link will appear next to the “View” and “Download” links from before.
These new features will be rolling out to all users over the next couple days and were apparently the result of a discussion held with users on the Gmail Google+ page in July. More screenshots of the new features below: