NAME: Hanx Writer by hitcents.com
WHAT: Looks, sounds and feels like writing on a typewriter.
HOW MUCH: Free, with in-app purchases
COMPATIBLE WITH: iPhone, iPad and iPod touch; requires iOS 7.0 or later
WHAT'S GOOD: Hankering for your old Royal, Remington, Underwood, Smith Corona or IBM Selectric? Typewriter enthusiast and collector Tom Hanks -- yes, that Tom Hanks -- came up with the idea to create an app to replicate the look, touch and sounds of machines from his collection.
Those with fond memories of typewriters will appreciate the cleverness of this app, from the feel and sound of depressing the keys to the ding at the end of a line and the zip of the carriage return. Although the Hanx Writer contains modern conveniences, such as deleting mistakes by hitting the backspace key, you can also go old school and just X-out errors.
Selected as one of the App Store's "Best of 2014," the free app contains Hanx Prime Select, a '40s-era sturdy black model with a crisp key click. You can try then buy (99 cents) the Hanx 707, which features a bolder font and slower, heavier touch that's reminiscent of '60s portables, and the Hanx Golden Touch, which has a lighter, faster touch akin to the Selectric. The Writer's Block Bundle ($4.99) includes all three plus options such as text alignment, title page and picture, three ribbon colors and the ability to create multiple documents. The app has wireless keyboard support, and documents created with it can be emailed, printed and shared.
WHAT'S NOT: The Writer's Block Bundle seems a bit pricey.
BOTTOM LINE: Fun, and your hands won't get dirty when you change ribbons.