A U.S. mother has created an Android app that offers parents a very modern solution to an old problem: What to do when your child won't return your phone calls?
The "Ignore No More" app gives parents the ability to remotely lock their child's smartphone, in the event their offspring’s ignoring their phone calls and text messages. The phone can only be re-activated if the child calls their parents back.
The app must be installed on both the parents' and the child's phones.
Once installed, parents can lock their child's phone by simply tapping their name and entering a four-digit code. The phone can only be unlocked with a code the child has to call their parents and ask for.
The app was designed so that, even when the phone is otherwise inaccessible, the child can still call first responders in case of an emergency.
Its creator, Sharon Standifird, said she wanted to tackle the problem after struggling to get her own calls answered. And Standifird, who is a Gulf War veteran and marathon runner, said she was ready to take on the challenge.
"It's a clever little app that helps a parent gain back control over their child's phone by limiting the features on their phone,” Standifird said.
The app’s website describes the immediate effect of locking a child’s smartphone.
"When you lock your child's phone with "Ignore No More," your child has only two options – he or she can call you back, or call for an emergency responder," the website says. "No calls to friends, no text, no games, notta' until they call you back. When they do you can unlock their phone if you choose to do so. How's that for parental control?"
Standifird's son, Bradley, said he's proud of his mom's app… sort of.
"Well, I thought it was a good idea, but for other people – not me," he said.
The app is available on the Google Play store, and has been downloaded over 10,000 times as of Sunday afternoon. Early reviews give the app a rating of 3.6 stars out of five.
"This app is great. I have some control of my teenager again!!!" Mary Ann Bablitz said in her review. "Thank you, now all it needs is a GPS tracker to go with it!!!!"
Another reviewer named Robert Brobeck wrote: "Great Thinking!!!! This is just what I needed for the past 16-17 years. My daughter always ignores my calls/sms. Not no more… lol."
With a report by CTV's Genevieve Beauchemin