This is Tom Hank’s iPad app called Hanx Writer, which is a typewriter app offering virtual typewriting experience of using a portable typewriter in a tablet.
Shelling out 5 dollars (Php220) for this app is a spur-of-the-moment purchase for me as I rarely purchase anything from the Apple App Store. Hank’s first app hit the App Store a few days ago and within four days of its release it shot to the top. I was pretty convinced of what the app can do from what I’ve read. And similar to the actor, I am a fan of typewriters still.
Hanx Writer is the fourth writing app installed in my mini iPad mini. I often switch between Microsoft Word and Writer Pro, which has advantage over Word because it offers grammar check. You can check your use of preposition, adverbs, adjectives or nouns in one sweep. Also installed is Textilus, which I rarely use.
Hanx Writer is the most fun writing app I’ve ever used. It may not offer the advantages of Word and Writer Pro, which ensure your writing is flawless and delivered fast with grammar checks, email, cloud storage and a ton of features. But this writing app can hold its own with its foremost feature–that is to provide you with the writing experience of using a real typewriter.
What I particularly like is the real sound of the typewriter (clacking key sound and even the “ping” upon reaching the end of the line) that comes out of it when you type on the soft keys, which are also designed like those found in a real portable typewriter.
The “typewritten” fonts also offer the same feel and look of a real typewriter font, including the uneven ink distribution, smears and blotches.
As I mentioned, behind Hanx Writer is multi-awarded actor Hanks. He collects typewriters and his intent in coming out with his first app is to provide users of tablets with the same experience of using a typewriter. Referring to the typewriter, Hanks says in his introduction to the app: “Each one stamps into paper a permanent trail of imagination through keys, hammers, cloth and dye – a softer version of chiseling words into a stone.”
Hanx Writer offers three types of portable typewriters: Hanx Prime Select, Hanx 707, Hanx Golden Touch. The first one features regular fonts, while the second one bold fonts and the third thin fonts.
The document you’ve written can be emailed and shared to other applications, with the app already converting the file into a pdf file.
You can also put image or a photo, but the procedure is only allowed on the cover page.
As to the document, you can only align them to the left or right or make it justified. Spell check is present as well and you can also change the color of the font to blue or red if you wish to put highlight.
Instead of delete, you can also XXXXX’d or mark with “XXXXXXX” certain lines — just like in a real typewriter.
The Hanx Writer is a free app, but if you want to enjoy more features like choice of typewriter to use, more documents to save instead of only one, and aligning text or having different background colors, you can opt to purchase the full version for USD 4.99.
My family once owned a couple of portable typewriters, a Remington typewriter and another one that always needed repairs. I learned typing skill using them. I loved the sound they made as you pounded key after key. The more sound you made was an indication of ideas pouring out of you. In the middle of the night, it was just you and the typewriter, your fingers busy pounding ideas out on a paper.
Using this Hanx Writer, I was able to relive those nights literally pounding ideas on my iPad today.