The star of celluloid classics such as Philadelphia and Forrest Gump has been inspired by the typewriter to create one of the world’s fastest-downloaded app.

Tom Hanks’ Hanx Writer is available free of charge and has, in a very short period of time, become the top ranked free app on Apple's App Store. It merges the tech advancements of the 21st century with the old-world glamour of typewriters – ideal for those hankering after a bygone era.

By fusing the characteristics of the old-fashioned typewriter with the modern, sleek iPad, Hanks and his team have created something truly novel. The Hanx Writer adds a little magic to word processing and, because documents crafted on The Hanx Writer can easily be emailed and printed, that magic can be shared and transferred.

What users love is that it sounds, acts and looks like a real typewriter – except that it’s digital. This means it comes with the satisfying clackety-clack of typewriter keys (which is apparently what inspired Hanks to create the app) but, of course, it’s far easier to correct mistakes.

Hanks has previously been very vocal about his love for old-fashioned typewriters, which he began collecting in 1978. The passion that he has for these little word makers is tangible in the app, and most reviewers agree that The Hanx Writer encapsulates everything that is loved about these iconic machines.

The actor, director, scriptwriter and now app creator has tweeted that he hopes people use The Hanx Writer "...For the love letter that has to look, you know, special. For the nine paragraphs that leap out of your mind...".

Judging by the number of app downloads to date, it would seem that many love letters – and perhaps even some great literary works – will be created on the Hanx Writer.

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