Many people know (and adore) Tom Hanks for his Oscar-winning performances and iconic movie roles such as Forrest Gump, Chuck Noland, and Captain Miller, to name a few. Fewer know that the acclaimed actor is a huge fan of typewriters, and has been collecting them for decades. Reportedly, his collection contains more than 200 classic manual typewriters.
Earlier this month, Hanks released Hanx Writer, a free application for iPads that “recreates the experience of a manual typewriter, but with the ease and speed of an iPad.” This week, the app became number one in the iTunes App Store, which suggests that Hanks isn’t the only one who loves the nostalgic, connected feeling that typewriters often exude.
Around this time last year, Hanks published an article in The New York Times that detailed his love of typewriters. In “I Am TOM. I like to TYPE. Hear That?” Hanks describes the physical and auditory benefits of using typewriters to tell stories and write letters. He explains,
The sound of typing is one reason to own a vintage manual typewriter – alas, there are only three reasons, and none of them are ease or speed. In addition to sound, there is the sheer physical pleasure of typing; it feels just as good as it sounds, the muscles in your hands control the volume and cadence of the aural assault so that the room echoes with the staccato beat of your synapses.
His genuine adoration for vintage typewriters is downright inspiring, and suggests that the creation of Hanx Writer was purely an opportunity to share his love of typewriting with the rest of the world in a more modern fashion. Although some critics have abhorred the app for being “insufferably twee,” many more love being able to use it on their tablets. The nostalgia inspired by classic typewriters is certainly something that is widespread, as Hanx Writer continues to appeal to iPad users who desire that unmatched feeling of clicking away on a manual typewriter.
What do you think of the Hanx Writer? Is it terribly twee or a refreshing nod to a bygone era amid our digital age?