In 2016, Apple replaced the graphics used for its weapon, replaced the realistic handgun with a light green water pistol.
A few days ago, Twitter followed
And now, it seems, will also Google . The weapon Emoji on Android will likely soon appear as a bright orange and yellow super-soaker lookalike.
As first mentioned by Emojipedia, Google has just swapped the graphics in its open Noto Emoji library to GitHub. These are the emoji that are used by default by Android, so probably the same change will be there too long ahead.
At this point, Google seemed to make this change inevitable. It seemed likely to happen as soon as Apple made the jump; When others came along (Twitter earlier this week and Samsung with the release of the Galaxy S9), it became a certainty.
It's a question of clarity in communication. When a large part of the people (iOS users) can send a cartoon water toy in a message that gets another large part of the people (Android users) as a realistic handgun, there is room for all sorts of trouble and confusion. Apple would not undo on this one course ̵