Google have yet again integrated one of their products with Google Plus, further improving the likelihood of internet users utilising the social network while carrying out all their normal day Google tasks. Gmail has been added to the list along with some excellent features that will make interactivity between the social network and email client simple to use.
The first feature is the ability to add someone to your circles directly from an email in Gmail. Simply open the email and you will be given the opportunity to add the contact via the standard icon located towards the top right corner of the interface. I can see a lot of people re-managing their circles with this update to create “mailing lists”, perhaps for business reasons or simply to send recreational emails such as Christmas cards to family and friend circles.
The second feature follows on from my idea of how circles will now be created. Moving your cursor into the upper part of the left side bar will expand a list containing your Google+ circles, you will then be able to filter email according to the contacts within these circles. Click on your family circle for example and you will be presented with a list of emails from all your family. Again, a simple feature but one that is very practical and helps keep users organised which I imagine many (including myself) can be guilty of.
Originally in Gmail you would have to manually enter information for each of your contacts which proved to be a labouring task which many refused to do. A new feature removes this hassle by automatically updating information using the details on your contacts Google profiles. I was pretty impressed upon seeing that my contact list had various details next to their names such as telephone numbers, email addresses, circles inclusions, etc. The list of circles is again included in the left side bar making it quick and easy to filter certain contacts for whatever reasons you may have. I would suggest checking your own privacy settings though if you are concerned about being called or emailed by Google+ contacts you are not overly familiar with.
The fourth and final feature allows you to share image attachments received via Gmail on Google+. Originally you would have had to download the image, save it somewhere on your computer and then upload it to your account; now it’s simply a case of hitting the “Share” button and selecting the appropriate circles you wish to share the image(s) with.
So collectively a cool number of features right? Let me know whether you think it will change your day to day Gmail experience or whether you are simply going to dismiss these Google+ related updates.
There is also something rather interesting out about facial recognition on Google+ but I shall leave that for next time…