To paraphrase the famous quotation from Mark Twain – it appears the reports of Yahoo’s passing have been greatly exaggerated. Yes folks, Yahoo is back! With a nice innovation which I’m sure they’ll be hoping can make some inroads into Google’s seemingly impervious domination in the search engine arena.
The name of this innovation is “Axis” and the primary aim is to do away with the multitude of search result pages generated by a traditional approach and, hopefully, take you more directly to the link you need.
Axis is available as a free browser app for iOS devices, and installs as a plug-in for popular PC-based browsers. Reports also suggest that an Android version is due to be released later this year.
Installing Axis as an add-on in Firefox places an unobtrusive search bar at bottom left of the browser:
Hover the mouse cursor over the bar and it expands across the page, providing access to additional options. Type in a search term and a series of scrollable preview windows appears, simply click on whichever is most relevant:
Strange thing here: if I type “Daves Computer Tips” into the search bar nothing happens. However, if I misspell the last word and type in “Daves Computer Tups” up pops all the results. Either I’m missing something or Axis still needs a little work.
Axis also offers several useful features; such as storing bookmarks online so they’re automatically synced across all devices. You can also leave a web page on one device and pick up where you left off on another. Plus, Axis gives you the ability to assemble and maintain your own personalized home page including links to all your favorite pages/sites.
Here’s a video from Yahoo which helps explain Axis:
Despite the minor hiccup, Axis is overall pretty impressive. It’s simple to install and just as easy to use. Whether or not it provides enough to make any significant impact on Google’s dominance remains to be seen. There’s no doubt that Axis’s primary target is the mobile device contingent, it’s simplicity and use of swipe gestures is particularly suited to tablets. I don’t own a tablet myself and I wonder how well (or clearly) the previews display on smaller screens. I can also see no reason why Axis couldn’t be installed just on the desktop and utilized along with Google search – as well as rather than instead of.