New app makes it a lot tougher for kids to ignore parents' text messages
Daksha Rangan, CTVNews.ca
Published Thursday, August 24, 2017 1:53PM EDT
A British dad may have a solution for parents whose kids conveniently forget to answer their text messages.
Inspired by his 13-year-old son, Nick Herbert created an app called ReplyASAP that sends the ultimate in text messages that can’t be ignored.
"[H]e has a smartphone, and it’s very difficult to get a hold of him because it’s always on silent," Herbert told CTV News Channel in a video call from London, England on Thursday.
"It was just a thought that, actually, if I can set an alarm on his phone remotely then maybe he will start responding to me a bit more."
The app functions quite simply: Parents download ReplyASAP from the Android app store and are then given the option to connect with their child. Once the child accepts the invite, parents can then send an “urgent message,” which cues an alarm and a "takeover page" on the child’s phone.
Kids won’t be able to access other functions on the phone until acknowledging their parents' text, by pressing a button on the takeover page, notifying parents that “they have definitely seen your message,” Herbert said.
But the app isn’t meant to replace regular text messaging and phone calls, Herbert added.
"It is important … in that emergency-type way. That’s the kind of use I see it for, [and] why I created it."
Although his son has been in support of the app since its inception, Herbert said the 13-year-old did have one request.
"[O]ne of the reasons he’s agreed to the idea of it is that it gives him the capability to do the same to me," Herbert said.
In the app’s early development, it was only meant to be a one-way tool for parents looking to reach their kids.
"But [my son] sort of said, 'so where’s the benefit in me having it?'"
Now, the app works two-ways, Herbert said, allowing children to send urgent messages to parents, too.
Still under testing, ReplyASAP is expected to soon be available for iOS devices in Apple's app store.