Monday, September 8, 2014

Writing Skills

Yes, this blog post starts on the paper above.
Of course, you can use the built-in keyboard, as shown, or a Bluetooth device for improved accuracy. As you can see, symbols can be added, or as you can't see, the app capitalized Stone Age for me. Some auto-correct works and text can be tap-selected for editing so Hanx Writer might be a bit more neolithic than paleolithic.

Documents are saved to .PDF format to preserve the special font used (optional, in-app purchased typewriter skins have different fonts) so one can't easily edit a document on another device or in another app. Andy Ihnatko describes how he wrote his review of Hanx Writer with the app itself and exported it for publication at the Chicago Sun-Times (here) but the whole business sounds laborious.

Still, I like the tappity tap of the keyboard, the ding-carraige return, and the need for focus on what I'm writing. In the latter respect this app is very much like the no-nonsense approach of IA Writer (for Mac or iOS). There is no getting lost in formatting options, layout, or other distractive elements. The words take center stage, a good simulation of the thoughts-to-paper experience of using a typewriter but IA Writer is tappity-free. Mores the pity.

I'm not the only one who likes the soothing sound of the machine doing my bidding. It seems that The Times has a plan to pipe in the sounds of newsrooms past with the constant flow of typebars pounding paper-clad platens at the behest of harried news hounds pounding out a story. They hope the soundscape will encourage productivity in the workforce.

Good luck. White noise is often a good thing, but for me that often means letting my iPad run Koi Pond HD for the lovely, natural background noises (and to occasionally poke at fish). I look forward to the results of the newsroom test and have Circa set up to follow the story.

In the mean time, I'm practicing my typing ... tappity tap tap tap tap ...

No comments: