Notification emails are a great way to keep up with what's happening in the Google+ stream: whether someone mentions you, comments on your post, or shares with you directly. It's not always enough to just read these updates, however; sometimes you want to respond right away, right from your inbox. The good news is that starting today, you can reply to Google+ notifications from Gmail.

On the desktop, in addition to adding people to circles, and viewing recent Google+ content in the people widget, we're now making Google+ notification emails in Gmail completely interactive:
  • You can view, comment on, and +1 posts from inside your inbox
  • Your comments appear in the Google+ stream in real-time, and
  • Responses from others instantly appear in Gmail, as part of the notification message
You can also reply to notifications from your mobile device (and/or POP or IMAP client). Just open the notification email about the post you're interested in, and look for the new prompt, "Reply to this email.” Tap reply, send your comment, and we'll automatically add it to the ongoing Google+ conversation. Even if you don't use Gmail, you can still reply-by-email from many different services.

From left to right: Google+ notification on the phone; replying via email; updated post in the stream

We're rolling out all of these features over the next week to users who've upgraded to Google+. In the meantime, you can adjust which Google+ notification emails you want to receive via your Google+ settings.

We’re always working to create a simpler, more intuitive experience for our users, and with today’s changes, we’re excited to take another step in this important direction.