Tom Hanks Creates iPad App Inspired by the Typewriter

Tom Hanks Creates iPad App Inspired by the Typewriter
Arts & Culture

The Oscar-winning actor develops the Hanx Writer, which makes typewriter sounds when users tap on the virtual tablet keyboard

Daniela Walker
  • 18 august 2014


Here’s a fact that you may not know about Tom Hanks. The man loves old-school typewriters. So much so that he has now launched an iPad app, Hanx Writer, which turns writing on iPad into a digital yet analog typewriting experience.

The app emulates what it is like to type on a typewriter, complete with the sound of clackety keys, the metal hammer stamping out the words and the ding when you reach the end of the page. It even slides back to the beginning of the next line as a real typewriter would.


Hanks explained the appeal to USA Today:

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

Testing out Hanx Writer, it is strangely satisfying to hear the clickey noise and see the virtual keys press down as if they were actually three-dimensional. It’s the aural satisfaction of writing on a typewriter with the convenience of writing digitally – there’s even a delete button.


While the app is free, typewriter fans can purchase different typewriters – each that have a different sound, feel and features. The app was not intended as a toy but as a tool, according to USA Today. Hence the inclusion of the delete button and the ability to forward documents on to others. “He mainly said, ‘Don’t make it gimmicky'”, the app’s designer, Stuart Westphal of Hitcent tells the paper. “Tom wanted people to want to sit down and write a poem or screenplay with it.”

When commenting on his own motivation, Hanks says, “Hanx Writer is just my little gift to the future Luddite hipsters of the world.”

Hanx Writer

[h/t] Digital Trends

+iPad app

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