Hanx Writer

 
(i)

 

Learning(i)

Typewriter sounds with modern features mostly a novelty.

What parents need to know

Ease of play

The interface works more like a word processor than a traditional typewriter, with keys to touch and a delete button. 

Violence
Not applicable
Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

An in-app purchase is required to unlock all content.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

No personal information is collected, according to the app's privacy policy. Geo-location data is not collected by the developer but could be used for in-app advertising. Documents created in-app can be shared via email.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Hanx Writer is produced by actor Tom Hanks, who often signs his name "Hanx." The app turns the iPad into a replica of a typewriter, with the sounds of the tapping keys and carriage return and the imperfect look of typewritten text. The free version is mostly a novelty, a way for kids to hear and get a glimpse of what typewriters were like. In-app purchases unlock additional features such as text alignment and colors, making it more word-processor practical. The free version does include the ever-necessary delete key, so there's no need to worry about Wite-Out on your iPad screen. Documents can be emailed as PDFs.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • writing

Skills

Communication

  • multiple forms of expression

Tech Skills

  • using and applying technology

Health & Fitness

  • fine motor skills

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

The design is sleek and impressive, mimicking the look, text styles, and sounds of typewriters. Beyond typing, there's nothing all that exciting to do.

Learning Approach

Though Hanx Writer isn't designed for learning per se, kids may find their writing muse as they play around with the typewriter format.

Support

Work can be saved and organized into folders with multiple pages lining up like a printed-out manuscript. Documents can be shared as PDFs.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • writing

Skills

Communication

  • multiple forms of expression

Tech Skills

  • using and applying technology

Health & Fitness

  • fine motor skills

Kids can learn about typewriters and experience a simulation of using one, adapted for modern technology. Kids will see the limits of fonts and spacing and work with the absence of auto-correct and spell check. Hanx Writer isn't designed so much for learning as it is for fun, but learning could be supplemented by exploring the history of typewriters, using one hands-on, or taking one apart.

This Learning Rating review was written by Amanda Bindel

What's it about?

The iPad screen becomes a typewriter, and kids can type pages of text with the modern convenience of the delete key. New pages can be added to folders and saved in-app, or pages can be emailed as PDFs. Each of the three typewriters available has a different look, both of the typewriter and keys as well as the font. The Hanx Prime Select is included with the free download. The Hanx 707 features a bolder font, and the Hanx Golden Touch is sleeker and a bit more modern. Those are offered individually or in a bundle as in-app purchases.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Upon opening HANX WRITER, kids will find a typed note from Tom Hanks explaining the inspiration behind the app. The letter closes with, "You already know how to work them," referencing typewriters, but that may not be true for most kids. They do know how to use an iPad, though, and that's close enough. The interface is totally intuitive, even though it looks like a typewriter. Kids can type on the touchscreen or use a Bluetooth keyboard. They won’t get the feel of a typewriter's keys, but they will experience the sounds of the clacking keys and clicking returns. Playing around with the typewriter will be a little fun, but the nostalgia will be lost on them, and they'll likely prefer to stick with more familiar and fully featured word-processing options.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how word processing has changed since the days of typewriters. Parents (or grandparents) can share stories of correction fluid and double spacing.

  • Find an old typewriter for kids to explore hands-on, feeling the weight of the keys on the return bar.

App details

Device:iPad
Price:Free (with in-app purchases)
Pricing structure:Free, Free to Try
Release date:August 14, 2014
Category:Productivity
Topics:History
Size:21.20 MB
Publisher:Hitcents.com, Inc.
Version:1.0.2
Minimum software requirements:iOS 7.0 or later

This review of Hanx Writer was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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