UPDATE: The Tom Hanks Typewriter app has topped Apple's App Store as the most downloaded app.
You may have seen Forrest Gump and Apollo 13 and think you know all about actor Tom Hanks. But did you know he is a typewriter aficiando? In fact, he loves the antique machines so much that he has just released an app that tries to turn your iPad's keyboard into a typewriter.
Called Hanx Writer, the new app is now available on Apple's App Store. It recreates the experience of a manual typewriter, but with the ease and speed of an iPad, according to the app's description. The app can turn off modern luxuries such as the delete key, letting you digitally cross out misspelled words instead, but you can still use the app to email, print, and share documents. Hanks created Hanx Writer in collaboration with the agency Hitcents.
Although the app is free to download, it includes a few in-app purchases for more features and themes. You can get the Hanx 707 keyboard theme or the Hanx Golden Touch keyboard theme, for instance, as well as animations and sounds. It's a pretty basic iPad app, though one that other typwriter geeks should definitely appreciate and get a lot of use from.
Hanks, who notably expressed his fascination with typewriters in an opinion editorial published in The New York Times last summer, has admitted to using a manual typewriter almost every day, whether composing snail-mail letters, thank-you notes, office memos, or to-do lists. The actor even described in his op-ed all the sounds certain typewriters make, in an effort to show their appeal:
"Remingtons from the 1930s go THICK THICK. Midcentury Royals sound like a voice repeating the word CHALK. CHALK. CHALK CHALK. Even the typewriters made for the dawning jet age (small enough to fit on the fold-down trays of the first 707s), like the Smith Corona Skyriter and the design masterpieces by Olivetti, go FITT FITT FITT like bullets from James Bond’s silenced Walther PPK," Hanks described.
And if that wasn't enough to show you how much Hanks adores typewriters, check out the typewriter-typed letter below that he sent it to comedian Chris Hardwick in July 2012. Hardwick had apparently sent Hanks a typewritter, begging him to appear as a guest in his podcast. Hank's typed response is both hilarious and totally like the actor we all know and love.
Check out the gallery below for more screenshots of Hanx Writer.