Despite turnover in top management at Yahoo, the company still manages to kick out a slick-looking new browser that's creating a lot of positive buzz for a change. Unfortunately, Axis is missing some basic functionality.
Is Axis Actually Awesome?
Yahoo's Axis browser actually works like a browser add-on with for desktop systems. On iPhone and iPad mobile devices, Axis works like a typical app, which you can install from the app store. An Android version of Axis hasn't been released yet.
The idea behind Axis is "one personal home page on all devices," which means you can sync your desktop and mobile devices and gain access to your bookmarks or finish reading articles on whichever device you prefer.
The search results show up as a text list with suggested terms. For example, searching "runners world" brought up terms the website for Runner's World magazine, "runners world uk," "runners world tulsa," "runners world smart coach," and so on. To the right of the search terms, Axis shows a preview of the web pages that show up in the search, and clicking an arrow or using the mouse scroll lets you flip through the previews to find the page you want.
When you arrive at the page you want to see, Axis keeps a search bar in the bottom, left corner. There you can enter new search terms, return to the Axis homepage, or add a bookmark under the Read Later or My Favorites categories.
The bookmarking function isn't quite as intuitive as it could be. For example, you can't add different categories (as far as I can tell) or delete saved bookmarks.
Also, your Axis homepage has arrows on the right and left, which don't seem to do anything other than take you to the most recently bookmarked page. If you are looking at one of your bookmarked pages, clicking the arrows take you to the next page you've bookmarked.
Yahoo needs a big "win" right about now, but is Axis awesome enough to turn the company around and keep it relevant? Unless more functionality is added to Axis, I predict the answer is a firm "No."
Google isn't perfect, but it does let you specify dates when you search and provides search categories, such as blogs or news. These basic features are lacking in Axis, which offers options to search "Web" or "Images," and that's it. If you need to search for a hi-res image, you are out of luck with Axis, unless you want to flip through the previews until you find one.
For now, I'm not adding Axis to my online arsenal, but I'm not ruling it out, either. Like Yahoo, Axis has plenty of potential. Now we just have to wait and see whether Axis can reach it.