April 4, 2012 at 11:35 AM ET
As Google continues to merge its products, Gmail, Google Contacts and Google+ are becoming more like a single tool. Google+ now incorporates your stored Contacts emails and phone numbers in Circles' profiles -- so you don't have to leave the social network to find that information.
Not to worry about privacy though -- if you're on Google+, your phone number, etc. isn't "public." It can only be seen by those Google+ friends who already have your info stored in their Contacts.
Google product manager Sean Purcell posted the update earlier this week on G+, which allows Google+ users to go directly to a person's "About" page to find stored contact information imported from Google Contacts. (This is in addition to whatever the person has already allowed to be visible on his/her profile.)
This could be handy for those of us who now won't have to flip between the inbox and our address book within Gmail, if we keep a Google+ tab open for that purpose -- as long as those contacts are in Google+. It's an added shortcut, and we can see the benefit of it, especially since the default setting (there is no other) is "Visible only to you."
You can also edit the contacts directly from the Google+ "About" page, so that's another feature to appreciate.