Tom Hanks' new app an homage to manual typewriters

Tue Aug 26, 2014 6:00am EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Natasha Baker

TORONTO Aug 26 (Reuters) - A new app for the iPad aims to recreate the nostalgic sense of typing on a manual typewriter, but ramped up to meet the demands of digital-age word processing.

The brainchild of Oscar-winning actor and collector of vintage typewriters Tom Hanks, the app, perhaps aptly called Hanx Writer, replicates the aural and visual sensations of old-fashioned typing.

"In the late 70s's I bought a typewriter - portable enough for world travel and sturdy enough to survive decades of 10-fingered beatings," Hanks stated in a note shared in the app.

"I've since acquired many more - each different in design, action and sound. Each one stamps into paper a permanent trail of imagination through keys, hammers, cloth and dye," he wrote.

The app allows users to type emails, letters and stories on a virtual typewriter, accompanied by the sound of clanking keys as each character appears on the page beneath the type hammer.

Users can also "insert" new pages or pull pages up or down to adjust where text appears - just as they would with an old-school manual. After text is written, it can be emailed, printed, and shared from the app.

The free app includes one style of typewriter with two more on offer featuring different sounds, visuals, ribbon colors and other features, at $2.99 each.

According to Clinton Mills, co-founder and chief executive officer of Hitcents, the Bowling Green, Kentucky-based creative agency that developed the app, the appeal lies in hearing the rhythm of one's work.   Continued...