Yahoo jumped into the browser app game with Yahoo Axis.
Axis is a search based web browser for iPhone and iPad, and is available on your computer through a browser add-in. In addition to providing an elegant search tool it also lets you synchronize your browser between your iPhone, iPad and computer’s browser.
The iPhone and iPad apps look great with a dark interface. The app starts with a simple tutorial screen explaining how it works. The box at the top of the iOS app lets you search and type URLs so you can quickly go to a web page or search for what you want. This bests the Google Search app. You can’t type URLs into the Google Search box.
On your iPad and iPhone it looks just like a browser with back and forward browsing buttons and the recognizable iOS Share button with the box and arrow. Tap the share button and you get a pop-up allowing you to share the site by email, pin it to Pinterest, share the link via Twitter or go to your browser Home page.
The real benefit of Axis, aside from search, comes when you sign into your Yahoo account. It then syncs your browser’s bookmarks and the pages you’re surfing. If you install the browser plugin on your computer, then you can continue browsing where you left off on your iPhone or iPad. The plugin works with all the main computer browsers, including IE, Firefox, Chrome and Safari. You still use your favorite browser and all the features you enjoy with that browser plus you get the tools included in Axis, that is sync with your iOS device.
The computer version sits in the lower left corner of your browser until you hover over the small box. You can enter a new search or website, bookmark the current site, view your past bookmarks, or open the pages you were looking at on your iPhone or iPad (see above).
In both the iOS and computer version, when you do a search, it gives you large thumbnails of the first few pages it finds plus links and snippets from all the pages.
I’m not a Yahoo fan and only use it for Flickr, but the search browser looks nice on my iPhone and iPad. I really like the bookmark synchronization and the ability to see the last viewed pages from your iPhone and iPad. You can also go the other way, opening the last page you viewed on your desktop or laptop using the iPhone or iPad app. Just go to the Axis Home page and at the bottom you will see the “CONTINUE FROM DEVICE” section, just like you see on the computer browser plugin version of Axis.
Is Axis good enough to replace Safari or your chosen iOS browser? Sure, if you don’t already use a bookmark sync tool, don’t mind using search results from Yahoo, powered by Bing, and need to sync your pages viewed between iOS and your computer. It looks nice as well.
Since you must do some things in Safari on the iPad and iPhone the app needs and “open in Safari” button or menu item.