Google is slowly integrating a Google+ features into its acclaimed web-based email service, Gmail.

According to Google Engineering Manager Mark Striebeck, Google is adding Google+ status updates into its Gmail people widget. Soon you'll be able to see the most recent Google+ post (as long as it was shared with you) by the sender of whatever email you're reading, from within Gmail.

The Gmail people widget was introduced in March 2011. It's a little widget that appears on the right side of whatever email you're reading. In the Gmail people widget is information about the person who sent you the message, including buttons for quick chatting, emailing and calling the person, as well as recent messages they've sent you. If there's more than one person involved in the email chain, the Gmail people widget shows all of their names, which you can click on to get more info.

Striebeck says the new Google+ integration will simply feature the person's latest Google+ status update, in between the convenience buttons and the recent messages. Of course, in order for this to work you'll both have to be Google+ members, and the other person will have had to share his or her latest update with you.

In his Google+ post, Striebeck also mentions the name of the engineer responsible for this nifty new feature: Steven Bills.