Do you think we need one more browser? Yahoo thinks so. Yahoo has launched a new web browser called Axis. Unlike other browsers which were launched as desktop versions and later were ported or being ported to mobile, Yahoo took the wiser route. Yahoo’s Axis is available for iPhone and iPad as a direct download and it is available for desktops as a browser plug-in, which sits on top of existing browser.
Yahoo isn’t clearly gunning for the numero uno spot of Google Chrome. Instead, Yahoo’s is going for a spot which matters the most in the next five years : Mobile. That’s one spot which Google hasn’t yet conquered.
Yahoo, which is getting back from the CEO debacle, seems to be getting things right. First it was the Alibaba stake sale and now a mobile browser which is trying to re-define web browsing. Yahoo isn’t a brand which is talked much on this blog. There were few instances like the Yahoo Appspot, Yahoo Mediatek and the Yahoo Phone. With Axis browser, we might talk about Yahoo a bit more.
There are 3 steps to web browsing : type in your query, browse through a list of links, then click on the link to get to the content. There were 4 steps to web browsing earlier to Firefox and Chrome. Opening up the search engine was the extra step. Firefox has included the search bar to enter the query directly right after you open the browser. Chrome went a step further to eliminate the search bar and allowed people to enter the query’s in the url box. Of course, Google had vested interests in this as this process makes Google the default search engine.
Yahoo’s Axis now takes out one more step. It takes out the step of looking for the list of links. Instead it shows the most relevant results in smaller windows right below the url bar. Quite frankly, that’s a nifty little feature and makes browsing on an iPad a whole lot easier. Here’s a screenshot of how it works :
Browsing re-defined, a little bit
When searching for India petrol price hike, it shows me the results about Mamata Banerjee’s dissent about the price hike page from Times of India. Not just that, there are other pages which can be scrolled through horizontally. If you are feeling lucky, then you can go to the first page. If not, you can browse through other pages and read a snippet before actually clicking it. That’s neat.
That is probably the only feature to get me to use Axis. I was sick and tired of iPad’s Safari browser and have recently shifted to Dolphin. My browsing on iPad is limited to Zite, Pocket, Flipboard and Google Reader. That gives me all the more reasons to make my limited browsing on my iPad effective.
The Killer feature
Yahoo’s Axis has one more killer feature in addition to the eye candy. You can browse and continue to do that between devices without losing the state. Privacy alert : Yahoo saves your bookmarks and your browser state if you login.
Once you login with your Yahoo, Google or Facebook account, you will be able to save the state and the bookmarks, so that you don’t have to lose anything. A very nifty feature. In fact this is a feature I was looking for a very long time.
Here are are the privacy features Yahoo asked me to sign on :
On the desktop, Axis sits comfortably at the bottom of the browser. It provides the same browsing capabilities with an extra sync capability between devices.
Yahoo will be releasing an Android version very soon. If you have an iPad and iPhone, it’s time to enjoy some Axis goodness.
Take out Yahoo Axis for a date and see how it treats you. Let us know if Axis is the best browser for the iPad.