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Google is rolling out a new update for Android users and updated its Pistol emoji to Toy like Water gun.
A few years ago, Apple was the first big emoji designer to stop rendering the “pistol” as a real gun. It went from a revolver to a green squirt gun, and other companies have just started coming around. Twitter and Samsung already made the change, and now it’s Google’s turn.
The update was first noted by Emojipedia, Google has just swapped the graphics in its open Noto Emoji library on GitHub. These are the Emoji that Android uses by default, so the same change will presumably start to roll out there before too long.
In a move presumably intended by Google to minimize cross-platform confusion, this now makes the squirt gun/water pistol the defacto design for the gun.
With Apple, Google, WhatsApp, and Twitter all now opting to display a colorful orange or green toy gun in their emoji fonts, other vendors like Facebook, Microsoft etc. may change the Gun emoji.
A Facebook spokesperson confirmed to Emojipedia that a toy squirt gun will now be replacing the gun emoji design on Facebook platforms. The decision to make the change is to minimize issues with cross-platform communication, avoiding a scenario where a user may pick a toy gun from their native emoji keyboard on Apple, Google or Samsung devices, and have it show as a weapon on Facebook.
Asked about the gun emoji on Windows, Microsoft did not comment yet. It’s worth noting that Microsoft was first to use a toy ray gun in place of a real gun for this emoji. Having brought it into line with other vendors once, it seems likely that they might opt to do the same again.