Explained in detail on the Official Gmail Blog earlier this week, the development team behind Gmail has modified the Web version of the popular email client to include more Google+ information within the user interface. For instance, when a user searches for a specific email address in Gmail, the Google+ account associated with the email address will now appear at the top of the search results.
That includes a Google+ profile picture, a direct link to the Google+ account connected to the search and a button that allows the user to assign the subject of the search to a Google+ circle. Assuming the user connected to the searched email address has authorized these methods of contact, it will also include links to their email address, text or video chat in addition to a phone number.
The Gmail dev team has also added rules regarding searching for specific email conversations within circles. Simply by typing “circle:[circle name]” in the search box along with some terms, a Gmail user can isolate emails that are limited to that specific set of people within the circle. Gmail users can also apply filters to specific circles. For instance, a user could automatically assign the star value to all emails received from a family circle in order to highlight important emails from family members. Alternatively, a user could automatically delete all emails that are sent from Google+ users they have added to a “Crazy Exes” circle.
Beyond these technical changes, Google has added Google+ profile pictures to the top of the email list when a user clicks on a circle on the left hand side of the user interface. Direct links to Google+ circles were added to the Gmail interface during December 2011 along with sharing links on media in order to encourage more Gmail users to share photos and videos within their Google+ feed.