Yahoo announced tonight the launch of its new search platform, Axis. The idea here is that users can search the web using their iPad, iPhone or computer and then pick up that search when they move from one device to the next. It’s a cool idea, and one that we hope other search companies pick up soon.
Yahoo is touting Axis as a one-step search solution, allowing users to visually search the web from any other web page without having to leave that page to search. The visual layout on the app looks a lot like the Pulse News app, with previews of web search destination sites listed in swipe-able rows on a black background.
Interestingly, Yahoo allows users to use Yahoo, Google or Facebook credentials to log in to Axis for the purpose of creating a personalized home page. That’s showing some progressiveness, since Yahoo is infamous for making users switch to their own sign in platform.
The killer feature, of course, is the multi-device connectivity, allowing recent searches, bookmarks, search history, and saved articles to be seamlessly resumed on any of the devices that have Axis downloaded on them (hence the personal home page, above). Unfortunately, when I went to download the Mac version of Axis, I got a “Oops! This link appears to be broken” error message with a suggestion that I try yahoo.com. Funny.
The Verge took Axis for a spin, and found it to be speedy and useful on the new iPad, but slow and unresponsive on an iPhone 4S. Since I couldn’t download or install Axis on my Mac, I’ll have to just take their word that it’s mostly a glorified toolbar for current browsers, including Safari and Chrome (I tried to get it for Chrome).
The iOS app is available as a universal app download on the App Store right now, for free. If you give it a spin, let us know about it in the comments below.