The apple app store has been conquered by academy award winner Tom Hanks. A long time typewriter collector and enthusiast, Tom Hanks has developed a new mobile tablet app called Hanx Writer. Bringing the meditative experience of clanking away at keys to those who have never used a typewriter before, Hanx Writer is a modern throwback to another time, a perfect piece of technological nostalgia that many will enjoy. This unique application is a useful tool and a perfect reminder of how easy we have it now. It is both bizarre in concept and cool in execution, but not at all surprising that it is number one on the App Store.
“With Hanx Writer, you’ll hear the rhythm of your work with SHOOK SHOOK or FITT-FITT.” – Tom Hanks
Hanx Writer is a free word processing app that simulates the look, sound, and in some ways, the feel of writing with a typewriter. If you’ve ever had the chance to use a typewriter, then you’re probably all too familiar with the endless false starts, stuck keys, dry ink ribbons, and X’d out words, not to mention the sheer weight of the device. Luckily, with Hanx Writer your experience will consist mostly of the familiar, meditative and zen-like percussion of typing, without all of the previously mentioned annoyances. If, however, you would like to acquaint yourself with a more realistic experience, then you can switch off the cursor and turn off modern delete (i.e. when you delete, the words are X’ed out). It is a nice addition that adds a little more to the old school feel.
There are many people who may grow to prefer the Hanx Writer as their go-to application for writing. These are also the same people who still love to write in journals or who listen to music on cassette tapes, drive Volkswagen Golf cars, and wear flannel T-shirts during summer and glasses without prescriptions. This app is mostly for them, for the ‘hipsters’, the young millenials who have less than they deserve, but have plenty of the drive, imagination, and intellectual wherewithal to find value in the past. Although they may have to use the app on a hand-me-down iPad 2, the experience will be more than sufficient.
Though we find ourselves surrounded by technologies that make our lives easier than before, we still long to experience the moments of nostalgia when we think back on the technologies we once begged to have replaced. Typing with Hanx Writer is like that. It has the ability of turning us all into Jane Austen or Earnest Hemingway, the very act of using it makes us feel as if we are more creative, more wise.
According to Dictionary.com, nostalgia is “a sentimental yearning for the happiness of a former place or time.” This feeling can be caused by the memory of those personal moments that we hold dear to us, memories that can inspire feelings of sadness and loss or feelings of joy and belonging. Although nostalgia requires the memory of an experience, many often find themselves waxing nostalgic for times in which they never lived. It is not uncommon to pine away for times that we would like to believe were better than our own. We are all guilty of it, the youth maybe more so, but therein lies great discovery. We can find ourselves unearthing treasures that we would have otherwise never discovered: books, music, fashion, language…typewriters.
Hanx Writer is a delightful and somewhat poignant app that is capable of evoking nostalgia in the hearts of the old and capable of filling the void left by the thirst and hunger for knowledge in the perceived bankrupt world of the youth. There is heart in Hanx Writer. This app is for us all who enjoy pining away for the past.