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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.

Details:

  • 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

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Politics: Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategyBiden's COVID-19 bubble.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong to put tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

Trump impeachment trial to start week of Feb. 8, Schumer says

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: The Washington Post via Getty

The Senate will begin former President Trump's impeachment trial the week of Feb. 8, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday on the Senate floor.

The state of play: Schumer announced the schedule after reaching an agreement with Republicans. The House will transmit the article of impeachment against the former president late Monday.

7 hours ago - Health

CDC extends interval between COVID vaccine doses for exceptional cases

Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty

Patients can space out the two doses of the coronavirus vaccine by up to six weeks if it’s "not feasible" to follow the shorter recommended window, according to updated guidance from the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention.

Driving the news: With the prospect of vaccine shortages and a low likelihood that supply will expand before April, the latest changes could provide a path to vaccinate more Americans — a top priority for President Biden.