typewriter sounds on your iPad is as useful as a robot butler
will probably be a point of contention. But it's certainly as cute. And it comes with a celebrity imprimatur.
Actor and Bay Area-native Tom Hanks has decided to enter the tech game with a little nostalgia item, the Hanx Writer
, which turns your iPad into a manual typewriter. Available for free on iTunes, the app allows users to punch out material on a screen that resembles an old-fashioned typewriter keyboard, with each letter clacking into place the way it would if real paper were being run through a mechanical desktop machine. Additional fonts and sounds cost $2.99 each.
In an interview with USA Today
, Hanks said the app offered a more "personalized experience" than regular iPad thumb-punching or Bluetooth keyboarding. Except the keys won't stick, and you won't have to roll the pages up and manually erase every time you make a mistake.
That said, it's still missing the romance of old mechanical devices, according to writers who loved them. The late Amiri Baraka, who didn't adopt word processors until late in his career, savored old-school methods of setting ink to paper.
Computers were an adjustment, he once said in an interview with this Weekly
reporter. "You had to be less battering."
Filmmaker Woody Allen also resisted going electric. According to a 2011 PBS documentary
, he used the same typewriter for 50 years.
Whether an app that makes