Yahoo revealed its new browser called Axis today. Well, it’s a browser for mobile, at least. On the desktop, it’s more of a browser extension. While it’s noteworthy that Yahoo would even put out a browser, it’s also noteworthy that Yahoo has loaded the browser with a huge emphasis on search, and a different take on search.
While there have been some issues with the launch for the desktop, Yahoo Axis is live and available for the iPad and iPhone. The company put out a couple of videos demonstrating how it works on both devices:
The way it works is that if you have a webpage up, you can enter a web address to navigate, like any other browser. You can slide the page down, however, and reveal the search feature, where you can enter keywords and slide through results horizontally.
It works pretty much the same way on both the iPad and the iPhone, though after trying it on both, I have to say the tablet better lends itself to Axis. You could really say that about any mobile browsing experience though. Browsing is just better on a bigger screen. In fact, Adobe put out a study a couple weeks ago, finding that the share of website visits from tablets grew about 10 times faster than the rate of smartphones within two years of market introduction. About 80% of that traffic came from iPad devices, the company told WebProNews at the time.
One may wonder why Yahoo hasn’t released Axis as a full desktop browser, but it would be hard to enter the market and immediately compete with Chrome, Firefox and IE. Yahoo seems to be going for an area where Chrome isn’t yet widely available. If it can gain traction with iPhone and iPad users (and potentially Android users), perhaps a full desktop browser might stand a better chance.
Yahoo itself does have a huge audience. According to its realtime homepage counter, the Yahoo Homepage already has over 52 million views today (at 6:30AM Pacific). I’m guessing a good chunk of that audience has an iPhone and/or an iPad.
Of course, rumor has it that Chrome will be making its way to iOS.