In its continued effort to supply us with head-scratching headlines, Yahoo has unveiled a pseudo-Web browser. Dubbed "Axis," the HTML5-based software will be a standalone browser for mobile platforms including iOS and Android, while the desktop version installs as a plug-in that works with your existing browser, be it IE9, Chrome or Firefox. Both versions have the same goal of improving your browsing experience.
Yahoo says there's a problem with how you currently browse: you enter a query, you sift through text links, then you click what's most relevant. Axis aims to eliminate -- or at least enhance -- that second step. Instead of text links, you see visual previews of content behind said links (basically a snapshot of the site). This occurs as you're typing, so you see results instantly -- just as you would with Google's Instant service enabled.
The previews are displayed as thumbnails in a horizontal bar and while the results are more aesthetically pleasing, Axis doesn't seem to bring anything particularly revolutionary to the table. If anything, it's less useful in some ways. You see less results at a time -- one, in the case of my iPhone 3GS or two when using a desktop browser snapped to half screen, and it's harder to find popular subpages, such as TechSpot's forum.
Besides offering a unique way to browse the Web, Axis is intended to improve your cross-platform experience by syncing content across devices. If you're viewing a page on your desktop, you can hop on your iPad and pick up right where you left off. Naturally, this requires both devices to be logged into either Yahoo, Facebook or Google+. It's worth noting that the Android version is still in development and we haven't seen an ETA.