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Yahoo! strikes back – with a browser!

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Everyone has been waiting for Yahoo! to reveal its survival strategy. But this was hardly the expected move. The Techie Guy, LIRON SEGEV, tries out the new Axis browser.

Holy Moly. You will never guess who has just released a brand new kind of browser. Yahoo! No, it’s not a shout for joy. It’s Yahoo! as in the search and portal company. So what is this all about? Mobile browsers really are out-dated. The typical approach is search, results, destination: its a three-step process. This process becomes more tedious when the destination pages lack the proper information for which we were looking, so we have to go back and try another page or redo our search. Here is where Axis has rethought the entire process, by marrying up queries to the objects they represent, so you get more data in the results page, more quickly and simply. How does it work? You enter your search term, and Yahoo! does its thing in the background. Axis displays thumbnails and page previews as results instead of just a list of links. The results are still available as you navigate through the various pages, so if you need to go back to the results you simply ‚pull down‚ on the screen and a horizontal slider of results from your last query appears. The real crux of Axis is that there is no more of the back and forth to which we are so accustomed. The results are just a click away in a slider format at the bottom of the screen, with a preview of that page. Where Axis really shines is on the iPad. Interestingly enough, Axis is available on both iPad and iPhone. When Mozilla tried, they were blocked from iOS, but Axis has managed to get onto the platform. It is essentially a skin that runs over Safari, with much better features than Safari has to offer. What is really great and a killer-app is that you can open a page on your iPad and, if you have the Axis extension on the desktop, you can carry on browsing right where you left off. Nice, as I often begin to read something on one device and have to go back to the same page on another. I could only get mine to work when using Safari and not on Chrome, but that could have something to do with the security issue that was discovered just after launch‚Ķ In summary This has real promise for us low-bandwidth people. I like the fact that all my results are right there at the bottom of the screen and I don’t have to go back to research. The preview is awesome as you can see which website to skip instantly, as the preview is not just one line of text but the site itself. Google does the same, but you have to hover over each link to see it. The desktop version of Axis is a bit shaky, as it’s clear most of the attention was on the iPad. But it really does have a future once more development time and thinking is extended to other mobile platforms and the desktop app is fixed too. We know by now not to write off anyone in the tech world. So, as they say in the classics, ‚it’s not over till it’s over‚ . It looks like the Yahoo! gamble of getting Bing to run their searches allowed them free time to focus on innovation. Nicely done! Check it out for yourself: http://axis.yahoo.com/ * Follow Liron Segev, aka The Techie Guy, on his blog at thetechieguy.com, or on Twitter at @Liron_Segev

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