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Axis, Yahoo's New Browser 194

markjhood2003 writes "Fresh on the heels of Slashdot's discussion of the lack of browser choice on mobile devices comes the announcement of Yahoo's new web browser Axis. According to VentureBeat, the browser runs on iPad and iPhone as a separate standalone browser and as an extension for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, with support for Android and Windows Phone coming soon. It actually appears to bring some innovation to mobile search, displaying results and queries on the same page for more productive navigation between the two."
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Axis, Yahoo's New Browser

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  • by bonch ( 38532 ) * on Thursday May 24, 2012 @12:37AM (#40096809)

    That search result display is actually really cool. I'd love to see that in other browsers (including desktop browsers). The problem is Yahoo's track record is poor when it comes to updating their products. For instance, Yahoo Mail is embarrassingly behind other web mail services. If Yahoo treats this like they treat their other products, I can't help wondering if it will just become another obsolete Yahoo thing.

    • by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968@gm ... minus herbivore> on Thursday May 24, 2012 @03:06AM (#40097401) Journal

      Did you ever think that maybe, just mail users LIKE the current UI? The damned "everything is a chat" crap in Gmail is why i only use it for places like this (where the most I will be talking to someone is a single reply and i don't care about spam) while i use my yahoo for family and friends precisely BECAUSE of the UI. Thanks to its classic folders design i can have my mail nicely sorted just the way I like with a minimum of hassle and the same can be said of my customers.

      BTW here is something that will bake the noodles of the geeks here, you know what from working on PCs 6 days a week i've found to be the most popular home page by a loooong shot?, that's right, the web portal page that so many of us hate. The reason why is it has replaced the traditional paper for most folks, hell I even installed a separate browser just for my GF so when she is staying the weekend she can have everything just like at home, with all her bookmarks and her Yahoo portal. She has her little morning ritual where she opens the portal, glances through the headlines, checks her mail before moving on to her FB games.

      So frankly I'd say the problem is NOT the mail or the portal at Yahoo and if I were in charge, hell if anybody that had a brain were in charge they could turn it around. How? Advertise. Playing around with the portal i found there is a ton of neat stuff there that frankly most don't know anything about. anybody try yahoo games? they have a ton of time wasters. they have got sports, comedy, a ton of really nice stuff, its just hidden way down on the far left bar in small print. That is STUPID. they should be highlighting a different one on the portal each week and making them easy to see and showing people how to get to them.

      They have all the right pieces there, they just need someone to show them how to market all this stuff to the masses and build some buzz. Like I said my GF starts with the portal every morning and even she didn't know they offered a ton of free games, but now that i have showed her where they are she and her GFs all have a blast playing all the little flash games. just advertise Yahoo, show folks what you have.

      • You and your GF should try iGoogle, and its widgets. I am willing to bet that you/she will like it better than the Yahoo portal. Yahoo sports is a good one, I dont think there is a replacement in Google, but you still can add a widget from your favourite sports website to iGoogle and be done with it.
        I agree about the yahoo interface, I am pretty much torn in between Yahoo and Gmail interfaces.

        • Why? What does it offer that Yahoo doesn't? my GF loves her yahoo Portal because even when she is staying with me its set to her home town (she had to move an hour and a half away to take care of her dad after a heart attack) so that she gets all her local headlines, it has her games and her email, like I said to her and many like her it has replaced the morning paper.

          So I don't even see a point in trying iGoogle and frankly after their changes in their privacy terms (and the whole pushing of more social

          • iGoogle is similar to Yahoo Portal, it lets you view your email (gmail only), news, weather. In additon to these, it also allows you to add widgets from other websites. I used to have a widget from my local news website, and one from my favourite sport news website. This as far as I know, cannot be done in Yahoo Portal. Google+ (Google's social network) is optional, you need not signup for it. Otherwise, I think privacy implications are the same. I agree with not rocking the boat, but if you are actively lo

            • I bet since they are pushing Google+ it isn't offering many if any FB widgets are they? As i said you can tie yahoo and FB together so if one uses FB a lot (as many of my customers and family do) then that's a no brainer. And what other widgets would she want that yahoo doesn't already have? it, local news and sports? ditto. business? weather? hell even horoscopes if you are into that sort of thing? yep yep and uh huh.

              The simple fact is from what i've seen most users ARE NOT GEEKS therefor they d

          • I agree. My wife does the exact same thing. I use Google News to stay up to date but it's like drinking from a fire hose. She always seem to get to the most relevant stories first via Yahoo. However I *have* managed to get her to switch over to GMail.
            • But WHY would you consider this an accomplishment? this is what i don't get with the other guy pushing iGoogle, WHAT EXACTLY does she gain? Did her Yahoo Mail not work? Was there a problem? This whole line of argument is starting to smell like "All go to hell except Cave 76!" or treating corps like ballclubs you root for. if her Yahoo worked for her, why consider it "better" to put her on something different, just because it is owned by Google?

              So far I have seen NO compelling reason or function that would

              • I already replied to the other post; iGoogle is not limited to service offered by Google, while Yahoo Portal is, and gmail's spam detection is way better. These are the reason I prefer Gmail and iGoogle, while I still occasionally use Yahoo. If these do no matter to you, you should continue to use Yahoo, if not switch to Gmail.

      • I too, like the Yahoo Mail UI (and use it), however:

        - pop3 access is for paying customers only ("free" pop3 servers are only accessible through ip assigned to mobile networks)
        - if you use their "forward" option to forward your mail to another address, then you can't use pop3 anymore (true story)
        - No Imap option *even for paying customers*
        - Unlike Gmail, Yahoo doesn't warn you if somebody logs in to your webmail from an unusual ip, they also don't offer anything like a list of recent login ip.
        - And w
      • Did you ever think that maybe, just mail users LIKE the current UI?

        Nope. After having asked all of my relatives who use Yahoo! they don't mind the current UI, and if anything are just afraid of change.

    • by DrXym ( 126579 )
      Yahoo Mail has a fairly reasonable UI these days but the spam filtering, or rather the lack of it makes it subpar compared to other services. Not a day passes without various spams and phishing emails getting through. If GMail manages to filter this crap out, I don't understand why Y! Mail cannot.
    • by Hentes ( 2461350 )

      Google has been doing predictive search and result display for a while now. There's nothing new in this, just keeping up with the competition.

    • The problem is Yahoo's track record is poor when it comes to updating their products.

      Nonsense, I'm sure whoever happens to be Yahoo's CEO this week will provide the leadership and vision to keep this on track.

    • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) *

      The problem is Yahoo's track record is poor when it comes to updating their products.

      IMO, Yahoo's problem is bloat. Our work computers are getting pretty long in the tooth, more than three tabs open with Yahoo News bogs the poor old thing down badly. I've never seen a well designed Yahoo product (that said, I prefer their email to Gmail. Gmail locked out my account because there was a typo when I signed up, they took it away when I tried to change passwords).

      As to updating products, I think

  • Huh... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 24, 2012 @12:37AM (#40096811)

    So Yahoo! is still making stuff, that's good to see. You can't fault them for trying to stay relevant.

    Unfortunately I tried to download it and got redirected to... I'm not kidding... /null

    Can we get a collective, "doh!"

  • by bit trollent ( 824666 ) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @12:37AM (#40096815) Homepage
    Is Axis the web browser for when you want the internet to fail, a shell of its former self?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I too was wondering what it's for. From the link: "Yahoo! Axis offers a faster, smarter search with instant answers and visual search previews."

      ... why do I need a new BROWSER for that? Google image search takes one extra tap. And the search engine in question is of course yahoo. I made the switch away from Yahoo a long time ago for better search engines. Don't really see a reason to go back: google is working fine. Is Yahoo going to respect my privacy more than google is? Because that's the one re
      • by mwvdlee ( 775178 )

        Axis search is searching for the "cool" kids; it shows you all the search results other people want to see (they call it "trending").
        Ofcourse the concept of trending search topics is completely safe from spammers, scammers and other marketeers.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 24, 2012 @12:40AM (#40096839)

  • Yo dog (Score:5, Funny)

    by Osgeld ( 1900440 ) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @12:41AM (#40096847)
    I heard you like browsers, heres a browser that runs in a browser.

    Pimp it!
    • by PNutts ( 199112 )

      Bitches love browsers.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Yo dog, i heard you like browsers, so we gonna put a browser inside your browser so you can browse while you browse.


  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 24, 2012 @12:43AM (#40096859)

    Nik Cubrilovic discovered that a private certificate file was left in the chrome extension source files:

    • Fucking amateurs. Seriously?

    • by kbolino ( 920292 )

      There is no such as a "private certificate". Certificates are inherently meant to be public. A certificate establishes identity. What was leaked is a private key.

  • The Axis? (Score:5, Funny)

    by DNS-and-BIND ( 461968 ) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @12:47AM (#40096879) Homepage
    Will this new browser only be available in Germany, Italy, Japan, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and Finland?
    • Barbarossa, Sea Lion, The Rommel and maybe Mussolini for the Beta release?

      (I didn't realise Finland was an Axis power; I thought it's fame in The War was due to being the only country simultaneously at war with both Ivan and Gerry.)
      • Finland was not actually part of Axis - at least not fully. They fought with German against Russia, and they received quite significant help from German though.


        Various countries fought side by side with the Axis powers for a common cause. These countries were not signatories of the Tripartite Pact and thus not formal members of the Axis."

        Source: []

      • by Luckyo ( 1726890 )

        It's fame is for being the only country that was assigned as a "client country" in Molotov-Ribbentrop that didn't get annexed in spite of two of some of the biggest military campaigns of the world war 2, including the single biggest concentration of artillery per kilometer of frontline.

        And then, there's of course this: []

        (Not my flickr, just the first hit on for "finland be afraid").

      • The fame came from Winter War where Finns beat the Soviets against overwhelming odds. Finland did not fight the Soviets and the Germans at the same time. []
    • by rossdee ( 243626 )

      That was 70 years ago, these days the enemy is "The Axis of Evil" (North Korea, Iran, Syria)

      Although Mitt thinks that the biggest enemy is "the Soviet Union" - I guess he was asleep in 1989)

  • oh I get it (Score:4, Funny)

    by slashmydots ( 2189826 ) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @01:03AM (#40096931)
    Their market research division apparently found out that people want a slower browsing experience that uses more data and takes up more of the screen. Oh, and it looks like they also determine that and a non-unique and thus totally SEO dead zone name "Axis" with Hitler and communism ties that can also be in the title of dozens of games and apps, making it app store camouflage, is the way to go. Good job! I hope it works out as well as the Facebook IPO.
  • by Lord_of_the_nerf ( 895604 ) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @01:14AM (#40096983)

    I'm super excited that this relevant and forward thinking company is releasing a browser that will make me forget about using any other browser.

    - Me from 1996

  • Axis will make your *entire* browser spin around waiting for 50 seconds.

  • by Pfhorrest ( 545131 ) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @02:01AM (#40097155) Homepage Journal

    The video on Yahoo's site talks all about all kinds of search features which all sound perfectly interesting as features of a search site.

    But how exactly is it a browser? Or, I suppose, why? Everything it says it does could be done in a site accessible from any browser. Did they just decide to package the site in a stand-alone application because... someone doesn't understand the difference between a site you view in a browser (albeit a site you use to find other sites), and the browser itself which accesses and renders those sites?

    • by Cinder6 ( 894572 )

      Not entirely sure why either, but it actually is pretty cool on my iPhone. It's missing a couple things, though, such as tap top to zoom to the top of the page, and I'm not sure I can live without Reader. Other than that, it's a very nice way to search on a phone, and I'm surprised to be saying that.

      On the desktop, though, it's bundled as an awkward browser extension that seemed to vanish as soon as I closed the Safari tab, and the Chrome extension has a big security issue (probably all versions of the ex

    • by Rennt ( 582550 )

      Did they just decide to package the site in a stand-alone application because... someone doesn't understand the difference between a site you view in a browser (albeit a site you use to find other sites), and the browser itself which accesses and renders those sites?

      There *is* a reason they are launching on iOS.

  • by Skuto ( 171945 ) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @02:29AM (#40097247) Homepage

    As covered in the article about mobile browser choice yesterday, just by virtue of being on the Apple Store this cannot be a real browser in any significant meaning of the word. So saying it's a "separate standalone browser" is just a flagrant lie. At best it's a shell around the existing WebKit/Safari browser on those devices.

    Given that it's also listed as an "extension for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari", what is this really? Yet another privacy-invasion toolbar? :(

    • The fact it uses the WebKit rendering engine doesn't mean it's not a browser, or that it's just a shell around Safari. And aren't all browsers just shells around a rendering engine? Loads of different browsers use WebKit. The main reason Google won't release Chrome for iOS is that they can't use V8, their JavaScript engine. Most of their WebKit customisations are available in Apple's implementation too. so, yes, it is a separate standalone browser. Install the app and see for yourself.

    • Thank you, I had to wade through a massive shitstorm of people hyping and bitching about Yahoo Mail to find the one comment I was interested in. I'm glad it's here, 80% of the way down the page.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    because its just a toolbar re-modelled,
    its primary purpose seems to be setting a GUID, a yahoo cookie and tracking everything you do with a web bug beacon, and it injects external scripts on every page
    reading the source reveals their true intents and its not an extension to help you

    basically its good old spyware

  • Yahoo eh? (Score:5, Funny)

    by lewko ( 195646 ) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @05:13AM (#40097899) Homepage

    Can't wait to see Altavista's entry into the mobile browser market.

  • Who was that again?

  • Sorry, but unless the user is looking for a site that is media heavy or a site they would recognize from a previous visit, then the thumbnails are largely useless as they can't convey the page content.
    • I actually tried it (for all of 2 minutes). First, it does show the page title overlaid on the bottom of each thumbnail, which makes them far less annoying than I expected them to be. Second, they do potentially convey "hey, this page looks like ass, I'm not even gonna bother".

      What did annoy me right quick:

      • My home page is a local HTML file with a bunch of text links. Axis's thing-at-the-bottom does not show up, and AFAICT the only way to make it show up is to navigate to a non-local page. (Okay, this
  • by Sloppy ( 14984 ) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @11:58AM (#40100385) Homepage Journal

    Everyone knows it, but few people acknowledge it: Mobile web browsers absolutely suck.

    I didn't know that. I do share the concerns about the amazing shittiness of the dominant mobile OSes, causing mobile browsers to stagnate. But even when (yeah, it's "when" not "if") that happens, I thought at least it won't be as bad as what happened a decade ago. Back in the day, I would have agreed with the (then) contemporary version of the above statement: Everyone knew MSIE6 and NN4 absolutely suck (even by the standards of the time), and all the good browsers were niche or off the beaten path. But in 2012 I really don't agree that the most popular mobile browsers suck. Mobile Safari and Android Browser both seem pretty good to me.

    (In fact I'd say the web browsers are the only thing that makes those two platforms be tolerable at all. They're otherwise garbage and the fact that you can so easily web-browse on them is what saves them. But that's another topic.. not that I'm averse to topic-drift, as you'll soon see.)

    No? What don't you like about the current mobile browsers? They sure seem pretty up-to-date on standards and rendering capabilites, if nothing else. (Nobody would have said that about MSIE6 or NN4.)

    BTW, totally different topic. The Axis demo movie thing, the presenter's voice was doing something funny. When they were just showing screenshots, I heard a woman's voice. Then they occasionally shift back to the dude and it's a man's voice. But it's the same voice. Without the face, it's a woman. Anyone else hear this, or is it just me?

  • Splitting out the results by topic is not a new idea at all.
    Many years ago while consulting at Yahoo! we already played around with a search engine that broke its results by topic (back then we used the 'Explorer' search text to show its potential). Somehow this never caught on.

    I cannot remember the name of that particular search engine we used back then (these were the days of Altavista, a new start up called Google and Microsoft was still using Yahoo). A little research on the webs brought me to this: htt []

  • "Download Axis Desktop Now!"


    "Yahoo! Axis does not run on your Operating System. Have an iPhone or iPad? Check out the Yahoo! Axis apps!"

    Fail (not as if I really wanted it, anyway)

To do two things at once is to do neither. -- Publilius Syrus