Photo: Google

Google is launching two new features aimed at making its mobile operating system more accessible: Live Transcribe and Sound Amplifier.

Why it matters: There are more than a billion people with a disability, some 15% of the world's population. Technology, when implemented thoughtfully, can play a big role in knocking down barriers. Beyond that, advances in accessibility often have a way of making technology more usable for everyone.


  • Live Transcribe helps those who are deaf or hard of hearing get an easy read on what's being said around them. The feature, which works in more than 70 languages, uses the cloud to help with transcription, but the conversations aren't stored on any servers.
  • Sound Amplifier, which was previewed at Google I/O last year, is like noise cancellation for conversations. It helps focus the audio on the conversation one is trying to hear while minimizing background noise.

Go deeper: AV companies are making progress on accessibility challenges

Go deeper

2 hours ago - Health

Fauci says if people won't wear masks, maybe it should be mandated

Anthony Fauci. Photo: Graeme Jennings- Pool/Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci told CNN on Friday evening that if "people are not wearing masks, then maybe we should be mandating it."

Why it matters: Fauci made the comments the same day the U.S. hit its highest daily COVID-19 case count since the pandemic began.

Harris to Black voters: Casting a ballot is about honoring your ancestors

Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris speaks at a "Get Out The Vote" rally at Morehouse College. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Kamala Harris appealed to Black voters in Georgia on Friday, urging them to "honor the ancestors" by casting ballots, and again calling President Trump a "racist."

Why it matters: The U.S. saw a significant decline in African-American voter turnout between 2012 and 2016, reaching its lowest point since 2000. Higher turnout among Black Americans this year could tip the balance in favor of Democrats in key battleground states, including Georgia.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Fauci: Trump hasn't been to a COVID task force meeting in months.
  2. Sports: The youth sports exodus continues — Big Ten football is back.
  3. Health: U.S. hits highest daily COVID-19 case count since pandemic began —AstraZeneca to resume vaccine trial in U.S.How to help save 130,000 lives.
  4. Retail: Santa won't greet kids at Macy's this year.
  5. World: Spain and France exceed 1 million cases.