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This article was published on April 25, 2018

Google swaps revolver for water gun in its emoji armory

Google swaps revolver for water gun in its emoji armory
Rachel Kaser
Story by

Rachel Kaser

Internet Culture Writer

Rachel is a writer and former game critic from Central Texas. She enjoys gaming, writing mystery stories, streaming on Twitch, and horseback Rachel is a writer and former game critic from Central Texas. She enjoys gaming, writing mystery stories, streaming on Twitch, and horseback riding. Check her Twitter for curmudgeonly criticisms.

Today Google became the latest company to replace its gun emoji with a non-lethal alternative — namely, a water pistol.

I’ve been an iOS user for as long as I’ve owned a smartphone, but I admit one look at this cute squirt gun had me thinking, “You know, there are perfectly good Android phones that are much cheaper than the next iPhone will be…and I’d get to use the new water pistol.”

For context: Over the last five years, several companies have quietly switched their firearm emoji out for water pistols — except for Microsoft, which seems to have gone against the grain by switching from a ray gun to a revolver. Now Google has brought the same change to Android.

Speaking generally, I’m alright with the change — revolvers aren’t as visually interesting as neon-colored Super Soaker. But the orange Android water gun is even more fun to look at than its green Apple or Twitter counterparts. It looks like something I might actually use to win a squirt gun stand-off, and it’s something I’d be more likely to use on any given day.

The bigger picture: Emojipedia announced the change, along with a pending water pistol replacement on Facebook. Soon enough, we’ll all be using water pistols, except for the aforementioned Microsoft emoji.

In reading up on the change, I also rediscovered Android’s gold-barreled blunderbuss emoji. If we need to have an actual gun in the emoji repertoire, I’d suggest that instead of the boring revolver.

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