Yahoo! Axis is a new and slightly different way to search for anything you want on the Internet.
It has features like instant results and image previews of those results, as well as a multitude of methods to access it. It is designed to “combine searching and browsing in one experience” and to “connect your experience on your iPhone, iPad, and the web”, which it does in part by providing one personal homepage on all your devices with all your favorite site displayed as thumbnails. Yahoo Axis is free, just like the original Yahoo! Search engine.
Way back in the dark ages of the Internet, there were two really major ‘search engines’ that I knew about and used frequently, those being MSN and Yahoo! respectively.
Now, before some of you are up in arms, yelling about how those were not the very first two search engines, bear in mind that I am talking about my personal experiences here. When search engines first became noticed, there was something of a scramble by multiple companies to try and grab the biggest piece of the pie, so to speak. Now, years later, there are more search engines out there than you can shake a stick at. Yahoo!, MSN, Google, Ask.com, and the millions and millions of others (it seems) out there make it so that nearly anything is available almost instantly on the net. So, of course, being humans, we start looking around for the next innovation in search engines since we are always looking for the ‘next’ thing.
Sites like the standard Yahoo! search engine are rapidly becoming defunct (or just much less used) as the newer generation of search possibilities become the standard. There are a few sites with search engines that have been at the forefront of this advancement but I am not going to be focusing on those except peripherally. The one I want to focus on for this posting is Yahoo! Axis, which offers a few new features on top of the familiar and standardized search principles.
First, Yahoo! Axis offers instant search results, as you type. This is something that at least one or two of the other engines out there have been offering for a little while now but I don’t think it has been long enough for that particular feature to become old hat. Google, for example, allows the same kind of instant search results as a feature you can turn off (if you have a slower computer) or on at your whim. Second, Yahoo! Axis brings your searches to a semblance of life, by showing you instantaneous image previews of any results that show up for your search. While this can be nice and definitely can be useful, I don’t think it is an absolutely necessary feature.
Another major difference with Yahoo! Axis as opposed to a more traditional search engine is that Axis is designed to synchronize your web pages that you have browsed or saved across your desktop and mobile device. That is, as long as your mobile device is an iPhone or iPad. Currently there’s no dedicated app for Axis available on Android but that’s no shock since Yahoo! and Google aren’t exactly cuddle buddies. Nevertheless, those that have iOS based mobile devices will find Yahoo! Axis useful for syncing your web experience. There are other apps out there that will help sync web pages individually but Axis takes the wide approach and just syncs everything together.
Finally, the biggest difference I want to note about Yahoo! Axis is that it must be downloaded to your computer and run locally as a browser extension. Alternatively, it can be installed to your iPad or iPhone as an application but in either case it will be run as a local program instead of just a web page you visit. This has both advantages and disadvantages for you, the user. It has the advantage of compartmentalizing the browsing process, so that your cache and your searches can be stored and accessed or cross referenced in a speedy and efficient manner. On the downside, it means one more extension and at least two or three more mouse clicks added to your browsing/searching experience. One could argue that Axis is just a way for Yahoo! to get their search engine to be used by Chrome fans, but even if that is true it doesn’t invalidate the useful nature of Axis, especially to those who are familiar and comfortable with Yahoo! products and programs in general.
This kind of thing always turns out, from what I can observe, as a very personal preference for most people. Just as some people will prefer Firefox over Chrome or Opera over TinyWeb, some will prefer Axis over other options. No matter what method of searching is most efficient or statistically more accurate with results, etc. the fact is that most people will use whatever they are comfortable with, regardless of how ‘good’ the program actually is or isn’t. Yahoo! Axis has the comfort feature going for it, as the whole thing is pretty easy to use and doesn’t overwhelm the brain and eyes with more information than can be handled. While I am impressed with Yahoo! Axis as an innovation, only time will tell if it will become popular enough to stick around for a while, as large companies like Yahoo! are known for abandoning fresh new ideas and software if they aren’t popular enough. So, head over to the install page and check out the demo video, or just download the extension and try it out for yourself before letting us know what you think of it here.
Until next time, my friends.
Get Yahoo! Axis here.