announced that Gmail and Google Contacts will start seeing Google+ integration over the next few days. With the update, users are going to be able to add people to their circles directly from Gmail, filter mails by Google+ Circles, and share photos to Google+ directly from your inbox.The Google Gmail team
Probably the most interesting feature out of this update is the ability to filter mail by circles. If your contacts are on Google+ and you have them in your circles, you'll be able to view mail that's just from those circles.
No word on if you can set up more complex filters with Circles yet, but being able to filter by Circle might be welcome for folks who use Google+ extensively. If someone's not in one of your Circles yet, you can add them directly from Gmail (assuming they've got a Google+ profile).
Google Contacts Improvements
Another major change with this release is that contact information from Circled contacts can be automatically updated by your contact. If they have a Google+ profile, when they update their address, phone numbers, emails or whatnot it will automatically update in your address book. You can also share your profile with other folks and make sure that they have your latest contact info rather than contacting each person separately to update them.
While this can be a time-saver, it also means that if your contacts decide they don't want to list their cell phone in Google+ anymore it might just disappear from your address book.
Finally, Google is adding a feature in Gmail to allow you to share pictures directly to Google+. Pictures will have a "Share" link between View and Download, so that you don't have to download the photo then re-upload it to Google+. (Something tells me streamlining sharing of photos to Google+ is going to get somebody in trouble.)
So far, it doesn't look like my Gmail account has received the updates. At least, it doesn't have all of them. I do see the latest G+ update from some of my contacts that I follow, but none of the filtering or sharing features have appeared yet. Naturally, if you're a Google Apps user, you'll have to wait a bit longer to get the features. Google says that the features in Contacts won't be available right away but that they're "actively working" to make them available.
Google has been promising to integrate Google+ more deeply into its other offerings. This seems like a major step in that direction. Is this a good thing, or a bad thing?