Tom Hanks Turns iPads Into Typewriters With Hanx Writer
Tom Hanks has always been known for his love of old school items, especially typewriters, which he also wrote about in The New York Times. However, Hanks does manage to keep his pace with the current technology. Hence, to keep his love of typewriters from dying, he has collaborated with the game/app development studio Hitcents to turn the centuries old writing medium into an iPad app – the Hanx Writer.
The app seems tasteful enough with features similar to a typewriter. The page scrolls across the screen as a typewriter would when you type; it goes “ding!” and slides back when you reach the end of a line. The keys appear to press in just like a typewriter’s keys do as you tap them. But Hanks’ most favorite feature, undoubtedly, is the clacking sound of the typewriter, something which he is very vocal about on various occasions:
Computer keyboards make a mousy tappy tap tappy tap like ones you hear in a Starbucks — work may be getting done but it sounds cozy and small, like knitting needles creating a pair of socks. Everything you type on a typewriter sounds grand, the words forming in mini-explosions of SHOOK SHOOK SHOOK. A thank-you note resonates with the same heft as a literary masterpiece.
I wanted the sound of typing if nothing else… cause I find it’s like music that spurs along the creative urge. Bang bang clack-clack-clack puckapuckapuckapucka…”
The default setup of the Hanx Writer is black and white, adding to the nostalgia, but there are other features and themes which you can optionally buy like ribbons and background colors. You can also get the whole kit as part of the $4.99 Writer’s Block Bundle.
Apart from the vintage style features, the app integrates some very important features from the modern day keypads like the “delete” and “auto-correct” options, these features virtually being the bane of any literary existence these days. Moreover, you can save, print and share your documents through email and AirDrop.
Hanx Writer comes with three different typewriters which suit the situation:
- The Prime Select is a reporter’s desktop machine. You hit it hard with the typical clacking of the typewriter. Probably best if the users use it when there’s no one sleeping around.
- The 707, designed for travelers, is compact and much quieter to not disturb the other passengers on board.
- The Golden Touch is the luxury model – “all shiny and crisp… and a present you buy yourself when you first go off to Graduate school…” according to Hanks.
Hanks says the purpose of the typewriter is to slow down the typing process, which gives more time to think before we speak… or type. Though the app seems like just a fun time pass, Tom Hanks says in an exclusive Twitter interview with Apple, “If you have writing to do, do it on a Hanx Writer. Maybe not a term paper or legal brief…”