Is Yahoo Axis the Browser of Your Dreams?

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Yahoo couldn't have picked a better time to come out with its browser Axis, as we've been shopping around for a new love, after a difficult breakup with Google Chrome. So far, it's not love at first site. From our first impressions, Axis has a lot of quirks that we can't overlook. But, sometimes we need to let our potential romantic partners grow on us, right? 

Yahoo introduced Axis -- an interesting name, reminiscent of Axis of Evil? Right? On the other hand, we do love a character-building name -- via the following explanatory video. Here we learn on a regular old computer, it acts more like an extension and less like its own entity. The tablet and phone versions, however, work on their own. 

As we're the types who spend all day on computers, using browsers for our jobs that's almost a deal breaker. Adding it to a browser we already don't like means we still have to deal with our ex. It's like working with a former partner. (Cringe.) When added as an extension, the search bar shows up on the bottom left corner, a location that others have found just as annoying as we do. Placing it there obscures any activity that might go on down there. For example, The Atlantic Wire CMS has a delete button down there, which the browser has rendered useless. 

Some other little things that might bug us after spending hours with the browser version: At least on a Mac, it will not allow users to set it as the default for links, says CNET's Seth Rosenblatt, it has an aggressive privacy policy -- "You agree to the collection and use of your data or information about or related to you in accordance with the Yahoo! Privacy Policy, including the transfer of this information to the United States and/or other countries for storage, processing and use by Yahoo! or its affiliates" -- and it might take time to get used to visual search.

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But that last part is actually what makes it attractive. Instead of the standard link list we're used to, Axis shows a string of tiles. It's a visual take on search, that we imagine makes a big difference on tablets and phones, for which are fingers are too fat and our eyes too old to click those little blue links. 

The whole thing actually feels like it was made for tablet and phone users. Yahoo built Windows 8-esque integration into the product -- one can move between devices and keep tabs and histories and homepages intact. (It's only available on iOS for the time being, though.) That's nice. But, perhaps nice for a different girl. We do our heaviest browsing on laptops and desktops, and we'd like some space on our iPhone and tablet for now. Sorry, Axis: It's me, not you.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.