Tom Hanks has made it well known that he's one of the few remaining typewriter diehards, but today he's taking that passion digital. He's releasing an iPad app called Hanx Writer that recreates the typewriter experience on a tablet: keys clack, the paper moves side-to-side, and new sheets need to be rolled in each time you start a page. "Hanx Writer is just my little gift to the future Luddite hipsters of the world," Hanks tells USA Today. Hanks' app does make some updates for the modern age, adding in impressive new technologies like a "delete" key — though those who want the true experience can set it to just cross out unwanted marks with Xs instead. Hanks created the app in collaboration with the agency Hitcents.
"My little gift to the future Luddite hipsters of the world."
The app is free to download and includes a few in-app purchases for more features and themes, but its basic state is enough to get feel for it. It's a fun enough way to type, but it's hard to say that it perfectly recreates the typewriter experience. That's mainly because the modern romance around typewriters isn't just focused on the sound, but on the physical pressure needed to strike a key. On the iPad, the slightest tap sets off a flurry of letters — wanted or otherwise — whereas on a typewriter, it can take even the most skilled computer typist a moment to get out a letter. That slows the writing process down in a way that, depending on your view, is either frustrating or calming, and Hanx Writer doesn't — and likely couldn't — recreate that. That all said, and though the App Store is full of typewriter apps, this is the only one that can also offer a feeling of kinship with Tom Hanks. That might just be worth your download.
Launching now: The Hanx Writer. Make a typewriter out of your Ipad. With crisp typeface, bold style and best of all the sound of typing ...— Tom Hanks (@tomhanks) August 14, 2014