Axis, a new combatant in the mobile browser wars, just hit the App Store, and the flag-bearer is as familiar as altogether unexpected: search giant Yahoo!

Promising to “redefine what it means to search and browse the web” on your iDevice and desktop computer, Yahoo!’s Axis touts its merits as

the only one-step search experience that allows you to enter your search, see and interact with the results, and find what you need without ever leaving the page you are on. Plus, it includes rich, visual snapshots of each result so you can preview the site before you visit it. …

Axis is also the only mobile browser that works with your favorite desktop browser (via a plug-in) to automatically connect your online experiences across all your devices. …Set a bookmark on your iPad and it will automatically appear on your iPhone and desktop, or seamlessly jump from one device to another and pick up from wherever site you left off.

Here’s a demo of the iPad version in action:

While we haven’t yet spent enough time with Axis to give it a proper review, our initial response is more or less positive. The search function is snappy enough, and the app’s pull-down interactive history concept works well. There aren’t a whole lot of personalization options to choose from (beyond logging in and synching across devices), but that’s not a deal-breaker; the app’s gesture-based layout is presented in a natural, easy-to-understand way, and it’s actually pretty fun to use.

Yahoo! Axis is available now for free on the App Store. If you’re in need of a decent shared-browser experience or just want a few more swipes with your daily dose of Internet, it’s certainly worth a try.

As for me? I’m sticking with Mobile Safari.

Yahoo!