Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks now has the most popular iPad app on Apple’s iTunes App Store, as the thesp’s Hanx Writer free app — emulating a manual typewriter — currently sits atop the service’s ranking for the tablet devices.
Launched on Aug. 14, Hanx Writer simulates the experience of a manual typewriter (including the “ding” at the end of a line) but with modern conveniences like a “delete” key. The app connects via Bluetooth to external keyboards that work with the Apple iPad.
Hanx Writer currently is more popular than any other free iPad app, including those for YouTube, Facebook, Netflix and Skype, according to the iTunes App Store rankings.
Hanks, who professed his love for manual typewriters in an essay in the New York Times last summer, believes the look and feel of an old-fashioned writing instrument is central to the writing process. As he tweeted last week:
The app is free but offers three paid upgrade options: the Hanx 707 ($2.99) supports multiple documents, blue and red ribbon colors, and background colors; Hanx Golden Touch ($2.99), which supports multiple documents along with text alignment and the ability to create title pages with pictures; and the $4.99 Writer’s Block Bundle, which includes the features in Hanx 707 and Hanx Golden Touch.
The actor teamed with mobile-development studio Hitcents on the app. CAA brokered the deal with Hitcents on behalf of Hanks.
The Hanx Writer, which is compatible with iPads running iOS 7.0 or later, has a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars on the App Store with a total of 1,666 ratings to date.