Everybody was surprised when Yahoo revamped its search business with the launch of Axis back in May. The dedicated mobile app/browser plug-in was an attempt to regain some of the ground lost to Google and Bing. While I may have quickly forgotten about Axis, Yahoo's fans apparently didn't. For those fans, Yahoo has some new features to reward your loyalty.
First up is the one and only change to the browser plug-in. Before, the Axis UI would pop up in your browser and just be a general nuisance during the browsing experience. Yahoo has finally added an exit button to the overlay so that users can get rid of Axis on the page for the time being. If you reload the page or navigate to a new one, it will reappear.
The aforementioned update is the only one for the browser plug-in. It's obvious that Yahoo is focusing most of their attention on the much nicer iOS app. The updates that turn the iOS app into more of a full fledged mobile Web browser reflects that.
The first update is a simple, but much needed, one. Users can now open links in new tabs. It's incredibly basic, but something that every browser should have. It's surprising that it wasn't in Yahoo Axis from the start, but that oversight has now been corrected.
Continuing the theme of keeping up with modern browsers, the Yahoo Axis iOS app now has a private browsing mode. When it's turned on, Yahoo Axis won't store cookies or save your browsing history. You can also choose to keep all your tabs open when entering or exiting private browsing mode.
The final addition to the iOS app improves the security of the Axis browser. The top of the browser will now display a lock icon when you're on a secured Web site. This is especially useful when visiting Web sites for banks or other financial institutions. Doing business on an unsecured Web site is not only dangerous, but incredibly foolish. Avoid that scenario by looking for the lock icon.
To further enhance security, the Axis iOS app now locally encrypts all the data that Axis collects including search and browsing history. This makes it so that nobody can gain access to your browsing information unless they have direct access to your phone and encryption breaking tools.
This is a fairly large update and a much needed one for Yahoo's search oriented browser. It would have been nice to see more updates to the browser plug-in, but Yahoo has their priorities. Now that Marissa Mayer is in charge of the company, her experience with Search at Google might help Yahoo climb back up to the number two spot where Bing currently resides.
If these updates have you clamoring for more search in your browser, you can grab Yahoo Axis from the App Store for the iPhone and iPad.