Tom Hanks wants to turn your iPad into a typewriter with his first-ever app

Saqib Shah
August 14, 2014

Tom Hanks, multi-award winning actor, star of such classics as Forrest Gump, Big and The Burbs, is now in the business of making apps.

Don’t worry, this isn’t Tom Hanks’ attempt to cash in on the mobile gaming craze by releasing his own freemium “be a Hollywood celebrity” game. He’s a man on a mission.

His app is called Hanx Writer and it is an ode to the typewriter.

Hanx Writer turns your iPad into an old-school typewriter, going so far as to replicating the sounds of the old-school device. Hit the keys and you’ll hear that familiar (depending on your age) clank-clank sound, and reach the end of a line and you’ll hear that ring.

Hanx Writer is free on the App Store, though Mr Hanks has chosen to go down the route of in-app purchases with optional fonts and sounds costing $2.99 each.

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Tom Hanks spoke about his love for the device with USA Today, claiming that he once amassed a collection of 200 typewriters.

“What’s pleasing to my sensibilities is when you have the report of the key being struck, it allows for clear thinking,” said Hanks.

“I suppose some people who get the app may just be looking for a different sound, but really it’s for people searching for a more personalised experience when writing on an iPad.”

“There’s also the opportunity here to take your iPad to a coffee house and be really obnoxious with all the clickety-clacking.”


Hanx Writer is more than just a mere novelty, according to its designers. Stuart Wesftphal of Hitcents says the app works with a bluetooth keyboard, has a delete and auto-correct key and the ability to share the work you create on it.

Tom Hanks himself isn’t expecting Hanx Writer to change the world or to influence people to ditch their iPads in favour of a Hermes 2000 typewriter.

“Well, I think Germany just said their government was all going back to typewriters, so they can’t be spied on by us,” he told USA Today with a laugh.

“But really, Hanx Writer is just my little gift to the future Luddite hipsters of the world.”


About the Author

Saqib Shah

Tech/gaming journalist for What Mobile magazine and website. Interests include film, digital media and foreign affairs.

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