Hanx Writer is a simple typewriter iOS app for the iPad, created by Hitcents at the request of Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks. Launched only last week and available as a free download, the app has already hit the No. 1 spot in the top free iPad apps on the App Store, TechCrunch reports, enjoying unexpected success for an app that’s not at all essential to improving productivity on a tablet.

The app offers users access to a keyboard that looks and sounds just like a typewriter – culled from one of Hanks’ actual collection of real typewriters – but also complete with the modern functionality of a virtual tablet keyboard.

“I wanted to have the sensation of an old manual typewriter – I wanted the sound of typing if nothing else…cause I find it’s like music that spurs along the creative urge. Bang bang clack-clack-clack puckapuckapuckapucka… I wanted the ‘report’ of each letter, each line,” Hanks told Apple’s @AppStore in an interview on Twitter.

The app might not be suitable for a “term paper or legal brief,” but it could be just the right thing for notes, journal entries or love letters, the actor said.

It also may be the single keyboard / note-taking app that will require headphones when used in public places.

Hanks isn’t the only star to come up with a mobile app, with Kim Kardashian’s Hollywood app coming immediately to mind, but his app might be a bit more useful. And yes, Hanks’ app does come with in-app purchases that give users access to other typewriter models, but they’ll less likely to fool unsuspecting children into paying for in-app content like the other app from a star does.

Hanx Writer currently has a 4.5-star rating in the App Store, from over 1,600 reviews, and can be downloaded by following the link below.

Chris Smith started writing about gadgets as a hobby, and before he knew it he was sharing his views on tech stuff with readers around the world. Whenever he's not writing about gadgets he miserably fails to stay away from them, although he desperately tries. But that's not necessarily a bad thing.