Apple focuses on gender diversity for next emoji release

This news merits a smiley face at the very least

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Apple will welcome a host of new “gender diverse” characters to its emoji collection on iOS 10.

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The new characters include single parent families, female sports characters, a female builder and the LGBT flag.

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The update also includes a green and orange water pistol which Apple chooses not to address in the press release but which reports say will replace the handgun emoji.

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This swap reflects growing concerns around gun violence after a recent series of mass shootings in the US and Europe.

A French man was sentenced to three months in prison in March for threatening his ex-girlfriend with the gun symbol. And a recent campaign in the US called for Apple to “Disarm the iPhone” by removing it.

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The new set of emojis will be available in the next software update, which will be released in September along with the iPhone 7.