Apple replaces the pistol emoji with a water gun

The gun swap is just one of a number of emoji changes the company announced this week.

Apple Inc. is replacing the pistol emoji with a green water gun in the next version of its iPhone and iPad operating system. Picture: Screengrab

JOHANNESBURG - Apple Inc. has officially replaced the pistol emoji with a green water gun in the latest version of its iPhone and iPad operating system, iOS 10.

The gun swap is just one of a number of emoji changes the company has made.

In an attempt to be inclusive, Apple has also introduced new and revamped emojis that show women doing stereotypically male jobs like detective work, construction, and police work.

Apple doesn't create the emojis; they are made by the independent Unicode Consortium, which standardises the way emoji characters are encoded so that they can appear on a series of platforms.

It comes after a series of mass shootings this year that put the spotlight back on US gun control issues.

There are new female athletes, a pride flag, and family options for single parents.

The water gun swap is not Apple's first foray into cartoon gun control. Earlier this year the governing body in charge of emojis nixed a proposed rifle emoji.

The pistol and other weapon emojis have landed people in trouble with the law.