A new app for the iPad, aims to create the nostalgic sense of typing on a manual typewriter, but ramped up to meet the demands of digital-age word processing.
The brainchild of Tom Hanks, the app, perhaps aptly called HANX WRITER, replicates the aural and visual sensations of old-fashioned typing. 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 colours and other features, at $2.99 each. According to Clinton Mills, co-founder and CEO of Hitcents, the Bowling Green, Kentucky-based creative agency that developed the app, the appeal lies in hearing the rhythm of one’s work. “Whenever you type, the sounds the typewriter makes you feel like you’re composing something special,” he said.
Mills said Hanks was actively involved throughout the creative process and often came up with solutions to challenges. “He wanted to create a product that gave the nostalgia of a typewriter, but also composed well. He didn’t want it to be gimmicky”. The company plans to continue developing the app and will add more keyboards to the three now available.