Google has started pushing its Google+ social networking service further into Gmail with new features that let users add to their circles directly from their email accounts.
It works like this: If you receive an email from a user with a Gmail account who also happens to be a Google+ user, you will be able to add them directly to your Google+ circles straight from your email. You will also see their latest status update on Google+ on the right side of your email. Gmail is also integrating Google+ into its contacts application as any updates that users make to their personal information on their Google+ pages will automatically sync up with the contact information you have for them in your Gmail contacts folder.
Additionally, Gmail users will now have the option of directly sharing any pictures they send and receive on Gmail on their Google+ pages. So instead of merely having "view" and "download" options when you get a picture through email, you'll also be able to click "share" and put the picture directly onto Google+.
Google says it will be rolling out the Google+ integrations into Gmail over the next few days. Google has been making quite a few changes to its always-popular Gmail system lately, as the newest version of the software gives users more power to customize how Gmail looks on their screens. Among other things, Gmail users can now resize their label and chat windows and expand the size of their inbox emails to make for a less-cluttered inbox. Google has also introduced a Gmail app designed specifically for iPhone and iPad users and was pitched by the company as something "designed to be fast, efficient and take full advantage of the touchscreen and notification capabilities of your device" while also representing "one more reason to switch to Gmail."