On May 23, 2012, Yahoo! launched Axis, a web browser looking to make searching the Internet a more visual experience. Axis provides users an instant visual preview of search results and is designed to be more personalized than browsers such as Safari. When searching, users are shown trending searches, just like the trending topics on Twitter. Axis also totes the ability to start browsing on one device and continue browsing on another device. The Gadchick team decided to take a closer look at the browser to see what it is all about.
As a visual person, Axis seemed like a solution to my less-than-steller browsing experience on my iPad. I am able to browse and search without needing to leave the page I'm on or open a new tab. I can personalize a homepage with favorites and the read it later feature, all of which (should) sync across my iPhone, iPad, and desktop. Gadchick readers may be interested to see the built-in 'Pin it!' option that allows users to pin items to Pinterest without an added bookmarklet!
Overall, Axis for iPad is great and may be a refreshing change from Safari if you are interested in a simple browsing experience and don't need the extra features offered by Opera Mini or Atomic but crave the speed. The gestures used to navigate Axis maximize the user experience without compromising the user interface. It's like the Pinterest of web browsers...with less mason jars. I enjoy swiping between search results and seeing the thumbnail of each result instead of a text description.
Axis for iPhone is not as well executed as Axis for iPad, but it gets the job done. Although Axis is image heavy, the results are quicker than using Safari, even on a shared wifi network. The search results are not as visually exciting as on the iPad, but the ability to scroll through my tabs without leaving the page I'm currently viewing. It gives me a sense of control over my browsing that I don't get when using Safari.
Like any other plugin, the Axis plugin for Chrome slows page load time. Axis for desktop is more like having a second tool bar at the bottom of your screen...in addition to the tool bar at the top of your screen from your main browser. I can't help but think the plugin was an afterthought.
Overall, the syncing feature does not update quickly enough. I found I had to log in and out of the Axis browser on each device to get my 'continue from device' information to load, and I'm still waiting for my favorites and read it later to sync between devices. On the bright side? Axis is fun to use, which I didn't think I'd ever say about a web browser.
iPad - Get it now
iPhone - Take it or leave it
Desktop plugin - Wait for another update, if you really want to sync across to your desktop.
Download Axis here.