Search engine giant Google controls more than 65 percent of the U.S. search engine market, while poor Yahoo, powered by Microsoft’s Bing, lags behind with just a 15.59 percent share.
It’s tough to compete with Google, since it does everything that a search engine needs to do, but Yahoo is attempting to cut into Google’s market share with its newly released search engine/browser app and extension, Yahoo Axis.
Axis aims to steal some of Google’s popularity not with imitation, but by creating a new browsing experience. Axis is designed to be a visual browser, displaying search engine results as images instead of text.
When opening the iOS app, you’ll be taken to a simple browser with a search box. Entering a search term, such as “kittens,” will display snapshots of individual pages that come up in the search results. From there, you can scroll sideways to see more results (rather than up and down) and click on a page image to visit the website in full screen mode.
While in full screen mode, you can browse as normal, but you can also return to your search results at any time by swiping downwards, which is really handy. I love both the downward swipe to see immediate results and the side scrolling, but I did think that the interface was cluttered compared to text-based search results.
Despite the clunky interface, once you get used to the gestures and the buttons, it’s easy to browse in Yahoo Axis. You can create multiple tabs by tapping the tab button in the bottom left corner of the app, which allows you to browse more than one page at once. This actually works better than typical tabbing systems because you can quickly scroll through your tabbed webpages using the menu bar at the bottom of the screen.
The top of the browser has all of the standard browser tools, including a favorites list, a set of bookmarks, a read it later list, and a share button that allows you to link webpages to your favorite social networks. All of these tools make it easy to keep track of your favorite websites, so this is a fully featured browsing tool that could easily replace your current iOS browser.
Axis is the only mobile browser that syncs with your favorite desktop browser using the Yahoo Axis plug-in. The plug-in supports Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer, and with a Yahoo, Facebook, or Google+ account, you can log in to both the iOS app and the browser in order to keep track of your favorite websites on all of your devices.
With the browser extension and the app, you can begin reading an article on your PC and then pick up right where you left off using your iOS app. It keeps tabs of everything that you’re reading in real time for a seamless reading experience.
Yahoo Axis is a clever mobile browsing app that has the tools to give Google some serious competition. It’s fantastic if you like visual search results, and its website tracking and integration are unparalleled. Axis provides an amazing mobile browsing experience, and I suspect it will have many people switching to Yahoo search in no time, at least on their mobile devices.
What I liked: This app has navigation gestures that are intuitive and simple to use. It’s great for browsing multiple pages thanks to the ability to access both search results and tabs at any given moment with a simple swipe or tap.
What I didn’t like: The layout is cluttered, clunky, and not quite as visually appealing as other browsers. There’s also a definitive lack of privacy options, and Yahoo still needs to work on providing search results that are as relevant as Google’s search results.
To buy or not to buy: Yahoo Axis is free, and it’s definitely worth your time to download it and take a look to see if it suits your browsing habits.
- App Name: Yahoo! Axis
- Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
- Category: Productivity
- Price: Free