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Yahoo Axis Review: An excellent improvement in search

The Axis Google Chrome extension search interface

Searching “Abt” Electronics yields results in this clean form

Last evening Yahoo! launched “Axis” a new tool that could possibly redefine how was search the web. It works great in a desktop browser but excels in mobile format on an iPhone or iPad. Overall, this is a great application.  Intuitive controls, clean interface, and great functionality are surely going to send this app to the top of the charts.

Yahoo! Axis is a search tool that can be installed via extension on Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Firefox, or as an App on your iPhone or iPad (currently no app in the Mac App Store). The app version works just like any other browser but the extension places a tool bar at the bottom of the browser’s screen and automatically expands from the left when in use.

The most stand-out feature of Axis its great visual representation of search. Once you type in your search term, you can choose between a web or image search. Depending on which results you choose, a scrollable list of visual previews appears and clicking on the preview takes you to the full page, or full sized image. There is also a list of  “trending searches” that lets you discover other popular content.

The interface of this search function definitely is aimed at mobile, with the scrolling working best on a touch interface rather than a mouse, although, scrolling through results with the mouse wheel works well but feels awkward when scrolling vertically yet the action is represented horizontally.

Axis Image Search via Google Chrome Extension

Searching “Abt Electronics” using the image search

During your search you have options to bookmark pages, or set them to “read later” which can be retrieved on the customized Axis home page, accessed by clicking on the “Home” icon on search bar. Your bookmarks and “read later” list can be synced across all your devices making accessing your searched and saved content extremely convenient.  Search “How to make Risotto” on your laptop and pull it up on your tablet when you start cooking without missing a beat.

The whole search process feels intuitive and rather intelligent when it returns relevant results. If I search “weather in Chicago” it doesn’t take me to a forecasting page, but shows the actual weather forecast graphics from the site. The image search is clean and once you click on the image, displays the full size over your existing web page which saves you time clicking back and forth through images.

Overall, the app feels intuitive and has a clean and extremely functional design. It makes search easy and creates a flow of information that’s complete, yet refined, polished, and very user-friendly.  Personally, I think it may be one of the best search apps available at the moment and while it may not “kill” Google Chrome, it definitively has the potential to become a top competitor in the browser/app search game.

What do you think? Let us know what you think of Yahoo! Axis and how you use it.

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