The browser wars has just heated up with the latest entrant, Yahoo’s Axis browser. For now there is a standalone app for the iPad and iPhone whereas for the desktop an extension is available for Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer. Let’s take a quick look at what it has to offer.
Adding the browser enhancement is one easy process. Head over to the official Axis website and use to the button “Get it Now” to download the appropriate extension for your browser. Once done you’ll notice a black search bar at the bottom the browser window. Start typing in it and it will bubble up to show you the search results in real time. The visibly brilliant search interface offers a speedy experience without necessarily interfering with your browsing. The search results are shown in a carousel like manner and the search is carried out with Bing powered search engine. Users can then click on any of the results to open it on the very same tab(right click and it can also be opened on a new tab) and this cancels out the detested feeling of fishing for the dull text links. So unlike other browsers you get to search for keywords without leaving the current page or firing up a new search page. No wonder it works much like it’s publicized.
Apart from these, there is a bookmark button which can be used to add the current page to Favorites or a Read Later folder. Use the login option to link the Axis Browser to your Yahoo account. The bookmarks can then be accessed across any browser or devices that has Yahoo Axis Browser(or browser plugin) installed and logged in to with the same Yahoo account. This is nothing new as Chrome does it in a much better way and so does Firefox.
The iOS version of the app is however a native app that can act as a standalone browser. Unfortunately as Apple don’t allow external links to be opened on any browser other than Safari, Yahoo’s new brainchild search browser won’t be getting much traction unless it is primarily preferred for performing a search on those devices. On a personal note, I wonder why Yahoo didn’t launch for Android(a version is coming soon)?Thankfully Google allows other browser competitors to be launched by default for any external link.
It is not sure whether the new browser will be released as a standalone application for the desktop platforms in future or it will simply stay as a browser extension only intended for the amelioration of the search and browsing experience for the already popular browsers. It might also be a marketing strategy to gain popularity riding on the success of the widely used desktop browsers which can later be leveraged with an independent app. The fact that the internet giant uses Bing instead of its own search bear witness to Yahoo’s dependence on the existing market leaders. Microsoft has definite reasons to cheer as this move might see much deserved growth for its powerful search engine. We’ll have to wait a little longer to comment on that. In the present scenario, the tool is nothing but a new search extension for almost all the popular browsers out there. Speedy, seamless and less-intruding search experience is quite pleasing. The roll-out was hasty decision perhaps, leading to a serious security vulnerability but that is something already taken care of. For me, a Bing lover, this simply serves as a quick tool to use the service but not likely a replacement for the feature rich Chrome browser.