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When iOS 10 was introduced at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference in June, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering Craig Federighi put on an exciting demo, showcasing many of the new features in the operating system. Revamped Apple Music, News, Photos, and Maps apps see new designs and exciting new functionality, and HomeKit and Siri see some incredible upgrades, as well.
And when iOS 10 officially drops in September, it will bring with it a ton of new and exciting features. Perhaps the most exciting update for most users included in iOS 10, however, is the revamped Messages app. Tons of new functionality has been introduced into the app, from the addition of “Rich links”, to bubble effects, “invisible ink”, full-screen effects, and hand-written messages. Emoji also appear 3x larger in iOS 10, as well, and emoji-fiable words within a message are now highlighted, and can bring up the appropriate emoji with a single tap.
While Federighi covered many of the new features in iOS 10, and especially within the Messages app, he didn’t highlight one addition to iOS 10 that is sure to excite many users – a new set of emojis with over 100 new and redesigned emoji characters will be released alongside the operating system in September.
Many of the new emojis are designed to celebrate diversity and gender equality, bringing female and male counterparts to emoji characters that were previously gender-specific. The new set of emojis features female surfers, swimmers, carpenters, weight lifters, and many more, as well as a rainbow flag that represents the LGBT community. On top of the diverse and gender-equal new emoji characters, the set will add an owl, duck, shark, potato, avocado, glass of whiskey, and many more new characters for users to express themselves.
Perhaps the most controversial new emoji character, however, is the green water gun that will be introduced with the new set. The green water gun isn’t necessarily a new addition to the set, rather it’s a replacement – the water gun will replace the pistol emoji character that has been the cause of much controversy in the past.
This past February, a 12-year-old girl faced criminal charges after she wrote an Instagram post that appeared to threaten her school that featured the pistol and bomb emojis. In March, a French man was sentenced to three months in prison after sending the emoji to his ex-girlfriend in a text message, which, according to a Valence court, constituted a “death threat in the form of an image.” Earlier this year, Apple and Microsoft teamed up to block the addition of a rifle emoji from a new set of proposed emojis. The move to replace the pistol emoji has drawn criticism from gun right activists, and praise from gun control activists alike.
Either way, whether you agree with the replacement of the pistol emoji or not, the new set is coming your way with the release of iOS 10. Users who can’t wait for the new set can join Apple’s public beta program – the most recent public beta, released yesterday, includes the full set of new emoji characters.
Do you think Apple should have kept the pistol emoji the way it was?
Let us know if you’re for or against this decision in the comments below.