SAN FRANCISCO – Apple is disarming — or at least it’s dumping an emoji that depicts a realistic-looking revolver and replacing it with a brightly colored toy water pistol instead.
The tech giant is releasing some new emoji images for iPhone and iPad users who use the cartoonish icons when they send messages. They’ll be available this fall with iOS 10, the next major revision of Apple’s mobile software. Other new emoji will depict women in athletic and professional roles, as well as a rainbow flag.
Gun-control advocates had urged Apple to dump the handgun emoji. It’s also drawn controversy in cases where students used it in ways perceived as threatening. The squirt gun may still look like a pistol, however, to recipients who view the message on a non-Apple device.