In case you missed it, Tom Hanks’ app – the HanxWriter – topped the iTunes charts last week. What does it do? It emulates the look and sound of a typewriter. It even chimes when you reach the end of a line. Fortunately, unlike a real typewriter, it also features a delete key.
The app is free, with in-app purchases ranging from $2.99 to $4.99. The purchases will get you another 2 models (the Hanx 707 and the Hanx Golden Touch) along with a different font style.
If you’re of a generation that misses the clickety-clack of typewriter keys, you’ll love this app. I do, but (alas) I only gave it a 3-star rating in the app store. That’s because it only allows saving in a PDF format. If I want to use it to actually WRITE (as in working on a book), I need an app that saves in .txt or .doc format so I can send it over to my main computer.
You *can* email or print your document, as well as open it in a variety of other apps like Dropbox, Kindle, etc. I emailed the app’s developer about this issue and received a return note the same day, saying that my request was going to be passed along to the developer guys. Hoping an update will solve the problem. I did find two less-than-perfect workarounds. I can copy the doc and then paste it into Pages, then save as a doc. Or, I can simply send myself the PDF and use an online PDF to .doc converter. Neither make me that happy.
Will I continue to use the app? Yes. I confess I’m in love with the typewriter – probably my age plays into that. But there’s something about “pounding” on the keys that makes me feel like I’m getting more work done. Pull in a psychologist and let them chew on that one.