The latest addition to this ever-expanding world comes from Apple, who are apparently introducing 100 new and redesigned emojis this September. The collection – which will be downloadable with the company’s upcoming iOS 10 update – will bring more gender options to the existing characters (women can officially be athletes and detectives now), as well as a new rainbow flag. It will also include a more political replacement; with the company officially swapping the handgun emoji for a water pistol.
The move appears to be a response to growing gun violence in the US. Following June’s attack at Pulse nightclub – widely thought to be the most deadly mass shooting in the country’s history – many in America have been urging for more gun control measures to be put in place. The conversation has been further amplified by the recent rise in gun attacks between black citizens and US police.
According to a statement from Apple, though, the update is not necessarily a political one – and was simply sold as a “beautiful redesign” of popular emoji. However, it’s not the first time that the company have let their opinion on the subject slip. Back in June, the tech giant – along with Google, Facebook and Microsoft – unanimously blocked a decision to introduce a new rifle emoji to the growing catalogue. The veto was described by the Unicode Consortium as a “bizarre and unusual” decision.