Just when you thought that Yahoo! was down for the count, the company surprises us with a new browser. Even more surprising is that its browser, called Axis, is currently only available for the Apple iPhone, iPad, and iPod. However, it is marketing extensions and add-ons for other popular browsers such as Firefox, Explorer, Chrome, and Safari.
In order to test this new browser, I downloaded and installed it onto my Apple iPad system. Now I would like to report my findings, observations, likes, and dislikes of Yahoo!’s first attempt at entering the browser wars. To give even further depth to my findings I had my wife, a big Safari fan, use the new browser over the Memorial Day weekend. Her thoughts and opinions will be included in my report.
When first coming upon this new browser from Yahoo!, I couldn’t help but wonder why Apple would even allow a third-party application on any of its devices. Could it be that it is looking for something to replace Safari? This concept may not be too far off since Apple has always been very territorial and protective when it comes to its software. This has included not allowing any third-party applications to circumvent the controls that it has built in to prevent hacking or tampering with its precious iOS. To me, this took on an even stranger aspect when one considers that Microsoft has its pinkies into Yahoo!. Could this mean that these two computer giants are considering working together? Far be it for me to know the answer, but it does appear that this is something that appears in the realm of possibility. I wonder if it is just me who feels this way, or do others in our community share this thought? Comments are welcome.
So moving on, I installed Yahoo! Axis and proceeded to take it for a test spin. I must admit, however, since I really like my Chrome browser, I wasn’t expecting much from this latest entry into the marketplace — but I was pleasantly surprised.
Over all, it was quite obvious that Yahoo! had done its homework in creating a browser that not only worked well but had been fine-tuned for mobile devices. The browser is both intuitive and responds quickly to commands. Additionally, I found that it provides an easy-to-use GUI that is a pleasure to use. In fact, it may seem somewhat familiar to anyone who has previously used the Pulse app since, as you can see below, its presentation is similar.
When first approaching the GUI, my thoughts were:
- That it appeared as if it would be slick and easy to use.
- Why didn’t Google think of this?
- This is not a good browser; it is a great browser.
I know that, given this review, one might think that Yahoo! has paid me a huge sum of money to rant and rave about how wonderful Axis is. That isn’t happening since Yahoo! most likely won’t even know that I wrote this article. It is just that, for the vast majority of us who have been surfing the Internet over the last decade or so, we really haven’t seen any major improvement in browsers. In fact, given the vast array of browsers out there, most of us would admit that the differences are so minor that the programs appear to be merely clones of one another. This fact becomes even more evident when it comes to mobile browsers, which can leave the user feeling frustrated with their rendering of websites that makes navigation through them nothing but a chore.
With this new browser, however, both my wife and I found that searching for a term or a news heading will display results in a preview window (similar to how Pulse presents the information). However, what further impressed me was the fact that the search results contained not just typical, everyday sites, but sites that I had never heard of. Not only did I find this amazing, but I was surprised to be given access to this large array of available sites so quickly. These two performance factors are what make Axis stand out among other browsers, making it a great tool for those of us who need quick access to the Web on a regular basis. In addition, Axis has the ability to sync to your other mobile devices as well as your desktop browser, meaning that your information will be available to you wherever and whenever you need to access it.
My wife, on the other hand, is not as electronically intrigued as I am and is happy using the Safari browser with which she is familiar. She feels that Safari meets her needs and has no desire to start learning a new browser, no matter how simple it might be. In this, she has a very valid point. As she asked, “Why should I make a change if I am happy with what I have?” However, even if you are a loyal — but inquisitive — Apple fan, why not experiment and give the new Yahoo! Axis browser a try?
Of course, I don’t know how you will judge this new browser, but if you are like me and enjoy adventuring into the unknown, I would highly recommend you take the time to investigate what Yahoo!’s new Axis browser has to offer.
Note, however, that I did find one problem with the new browser that occurred when I attempted to use it as an extension for Google’s Chrome browser. In this case, I discovered that the new Axis browser became quite cumbersome and unnecessary. Of course. these are just my two cents’ worth and I would welcome your feedback.
CC licensed Flickr photo at the top of the page shared by bertboerland