On May 23rd of 2012 Yahoo unveiled its latest incarnation of search engines. Entitled “Axis,” this utility is the first-ever search engine to be designed specifically for mobile devices. While the search engine can also be accessed from any home PC or Mac, the website is specifically directed toward handheld devices.
Visually astounding, with its sleek black design, Axis not only produces highly refined search results, but also takes a new approach as to how the results are displayed. Framed in two separate windows, the actual content of the selected website is displayed in the lower third of the screen, while screen-shot previews of related material and websites are displayed in the top portion of the screen. With a simple flick of your finger, or drag of your mouse, the website is brought into an expanded view and the related search results are hidden.
Another useful feature of Axis is that all of the search results are loaded onto one screen, enabling the user to simply scroll through the page previews from left to right. Instead of having to navigate through multiple pages of search results, the user can stay on one single page and scroll through hundreds of target pages.
Navigation is also simplified in this application. If a user accesses Axis via Iphone or Ipad, the application works as a stand-alone browser, bypassing safari or any other browser choice. When used as a stand-alone browser, the built-in Yahoo search engine is the default, but it is still possible to navigate to Bing, Google, or your favorite search engine. The only down-side to using a search engine other than the yahoo Axis build is that the search results are not given as visual previews, but rather are displayed in a classic list format.
When it comes to search engine optimization, a side by side comparison of the search results from the Axis and traditional yahoo search will give two completely different sets of results. The Axis application is still in its infancy, and it is not yet known what algorithm is in-place to produce search results. What exact steps the program takes in analyzing the request, and sorting the results may take some time to perfect, but as of right now, the results produced tend to be more visually intensive pages.
While Axis still has some growing pains to work out, its creation was aimed to become both a rival of and champion over Apple’s Safari browser. In this respect, Axis has had a triumphant and positive opening. Axis has been climbing the “Most Popular” and Top 100” charts within the App Store, and offers a new and exciting browser with the potential to change mobile browsing forever.