Speed Up Browsing With Yahoo Axis Instant Answers And Visual Previews

Yahoo has released a new browser addon for PC which helps you to be more productive. It allows the user to search instantly without ever leaving their opened page and provides visual search results making it easy for you to see what’s actually inside the webpage even before opening the page.

Yahoo Axis comes as a stand alone app for iPhone and iPad while it serves as a browser addon for Desktop computers. You can install it on any browser including Firefox, Google Chrome and Internet Explorer. Just a note that after installing Yahoo Axis in Internet Explorer, it will start prompting you that this addon is slowing down the browser. I ignored the warning and didn’t see any signs of a browser slowdown. I’m still testing this addon and will let you know if there is some signs of sluggish performance or slowdown during the test.

Yahoo Axis tutorial

So what is Yahoo Axis and what is it all about? Yahoo Axis is a new experiment from Yahoo which strives to make searching a better experience by focusing on visual pages instead of the standard links. If you install Yahoo Axis addon on any browser on a Desktop PC, it will add a new homepage (axis.yahoo.com/home) with your bookmarks visually listed. There are two categories of bookmarks, read later and the favorite bookmarks.

Yahoo Axis search box

Yahoo Axis addon also adds a new search box at the bottom left of the browser screen. It consists of a search field, a bookmark button and a home button. You can quickly bookmark an open webpage by clicking on the star button. You can go to the Yahoo Axis homepage by clicking on the home icon. If you click inside the search field, it will expand horizontally and when you start typing a query, it will expand vertically showing real time search results. The results are in a visual form instead of links. You can browse through the search results horizontally. All this is done without leaving the actual page you were on.

Yahoo Axis search expanded

Overall Yahoo Axis is a good plugin but it comes with a cost, the performance of the browser. Although it does not affect the performance of the browser if you have only a few tabs open. But if you have a lot of browser windows or tabs open, this plugin will slow down the performance and even the browsing speed considerably. While browsing for Yahoo Axis news, I came across a ComputerWorld article which states the following:

According to Microsoft, Yahoo Axis for IE slowed down IE9’S start-up by 0.07 seconds.

The add-on disabling message is not new or somehow triggered by Axis’ installation: IE9 has had the feature, officially dubbed “Add-on Performance Advisor” — since the browser launched in March 2011. The Advisor regularly shows warning messages when the combined slow-down time reaches a triggering level.

Soon after the release of Yahoo Axis, Nik Cubrilovic has already discovered a security vulnerability in Yahoo Axis. While, this is still an experimental release of Yahoo Axis, Yahoo may have to work harder to make sure their plugin does not interfere with normal browsing and makes it more secure to use the plugin.

Overall, the idea of instant answers and visual previews of the search results is a good one and Yahoo needs to carry on enhancing this idea into a more mature and acceptable one. What is your take on Yahoo Axis? Will it help Yahoo revive their long lost search domination?

Download Yahoo Axis for Desktop, iPhone and iPad