Technology

iPad Apps: Hanx Writer – The Typewriter App You Don’t Need

We all love the clickety-clack-ding of typewriters. Ah, the good old days of carrying around a 10 lb machine that can’t search the Internet. Thankfully, Tom Hanks, is helping bring back the typewriter, or at least, the noise and poor usability of the typewriter with the iPad app, Hanx Writer.

Banking on a freemium model, one would need to shell out $3 or $5 for the app to actually be usable. Why would you buy Hanx Writer instead of using Evernote, Voice Memo, Pages, or Google Docs? Well, using a skeuomorphic typewriter interface is like being a writer in the video game, The Room. And, you like typewriters.

Beyond being a pretty design, it just doesn’t seem that usable beyond a conversation piece. However, we’d like to hear from you. If you’ve used Hanx Writer, what’s been your experience? Is this an app you’ll use regularly or does it fail to meet your needs?

App: Hanx Writer
Cost: Free1, $3, $5
Category: Productivity
Usage: Word Processor

 

  1. With severe limitations. []

Timothy A. Lepczyk

Tim is an instructional technologist and former librarian. On the side, he writes fiction and poetry, and publishes the magazine Scintilla. You can follow him on Twitter at @thirdcoast.

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One Comment

Jyri Kokkonen

This comment comes from Finland.Downloaded the freebie today. The Hanx Writer is a nice toy for older people. More of a demo than a proper modern writing tool (the freebie at least is basically useless for text processing as we know it), but I enjoy the simulation of the (to me) old familiar feeling of writing like that. Also, it handles Scandinavian characters when used with a keypad cover. The basic pleasure of using it boils down to the slight time-lag of the keys and switching off the modern backspace delete thing to get the craftsmanship feel of typing, i.e. avoiding mistakes and typos as far as possible. I started my career as a Finnish-English translator close to forty years ago using old-school typewriters like that. So it’s more of a nostalgia toy than anything else, but I’m considering forking out a few dollars for the full version. I might use it for slow work, like translating poems. I kind of relish the thought of making a nuisance of myself in airport lounges in similar writing away on it with full sound effects, though you really need a glass of Scotch and a cigarette hanging from your lips to go with it, and smoking is hardly allowed anywhere these days.

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