Google is the latest company to release the pistol with a new emoji update for Android users. The move to a bright orange and yellow water gun that is coming out now mimics the changes Apple, WhatsApp, Twitter and Samsung have made in recent years. This leaves Microsoft the only major platform with the realistic handgun emoji. True, Facebook still uses it, but a company spokesman confirmed Emojipedia that it would also replace its pistol emoji with a toy water pistol. The Verge has turned to Microsoft for comment.
The move makes Google's Gun-Emoji compatible with other platforms. So when a friend sends the playful water pistol from an iPhone, it looks similar on an Android device or in a tweet with no unwanted misunderstanding.
Ironically, Microsoft first showed the weapon emoji as a toy, but changed it to a revolver in 2016 as part of its emoji redesign project. With Google's (and Facebook's) latest move, Microsoft's gun Emoji is unlike the other giant tech companies in the US where gun violence is a big problem. As mentioned previously, in 2016, Apple successfully attempted to remove the rifle icon from the standardized Emoji collection.
Google has made over the years some changes to its weapons emoji black pistol in 2012, a vintage pistol in 2013, then revolvers in 2014 and 2017, and now a water pistol. However, this most recent change is the most comprehensive and puts Microsoft in an uncomfortable position.