Kids are getting cellphones at a younger and younger age. And they're not the Nokia's many of us received as kids, which were only capable of texting and playing Snake, they're smartphones. Like many parents, Nick Herbert, a dad in the United Kingdom, had a hard time getting his son Ben to text back after he bought him a smartphone.
That's why Herbert decided to take things into his own hand, and create the RespondASAP app that will lock a child's phone until they reply.
Herbert explains on the app's website why he decided to create the app after buying his son a phone.
“However, what I thought was a solution turned into a different problem,” Herbert wrote. “Because the phone was ‘smart,’ he could play games and watch videos on it. So invariably he keeps his phone on silent so I wouldn’t know.”
“As such, when I try and contact him, he rarely answers, either because he doesn’t hear the phone or because (and I’ve finally had to admit this to myself) he may be embarrassed to speak to his dad in front of his friends."
“There are messaging apps that tell you when a message is delivered and seen, but the point is the message can be ignored or not seen because he didn’t hear it,” Herbert explained. “So ReplyASAP is my solution to this problem.”
The app allows a parent to send or schedule messages, and makes a message audible even if the recipient has their phone on silent. That noise will continue until the recipient acknowledges it. The app will also display on their phone over what ever they are doing, blocking the phone until the child replies. It even gives the sender the recipient's location.
“During the development process, I spoke to Ben and showed him the designs and thinking behind the app and he likes the idea because he will know that if he gets one of these messages then he will always hear it and will know it’s important.”
“He will also have the ability to send me these messages, so there is a mutual understanding that using ReplyASAP is only for important things and not because he needs new batteries for his Xbox controller.”
The app is currently only on Android phones, but is “coming soon” for iOS devices. RespondASAP starts at about $1.25 to connect to one other person.