Most parents who give their kids a smartphone have two fundamental rules: that they answer the phone when you call and don’t ignore texts.
Yeah, right. It sounded even funnier when I said it out loud.
Like many of us, Nick Herbert was hopeful that his son Ben would abide by the smartphone etiquette he put into motion. But Ben, who frequently switched his phone to silent to play video games with friends, struggled to hear the phone when it rang. So Herbert began texting him, repeatedly, but sadly, Ben didn’t answer those either.
“By the end of last summer, I thought, ‘Well, there must be something better,'” Herbert told CBS News. “I’m trying to find him all the time.”
That’s when the London parent came up with a brilliant plan to get his son’s attention.
“I wanted to be able to set an alarm on his phone—that was the gem of the idea,” said Herbert. “Alarms sound even on silent. Why can’t I set an alarm on his phone in order to do that?”
Well, it turns out he could create an alarm and did so by hiring a friend to help develop an app that allows users to send urgent texts that cannot be ignored.
When a message is sent using ReplyASAP, it triggers a visual and audible alarm that takes over your child’s screen, interrupting whatever they are doing (even if their phone is on silent) until they respond.
The app, which is free for Andriod users to download on Google Play, offers bundles that start at $1.27, depending on how many people you connect. (Don’t worry, iPhone lovers, they are working on an iOS version that should be available soon.)
To use ReplyASAP, simply download the app to your phone and invite your child to do the same. Once they accept your invitation and download the app to their phone, both parties can begin sending each other “ASAP messages” in real time or “scheduled” in advance.
To stop the alarm, recipients can either hit snooze for 3 minutes while replying or hit “cancel” to exit the tab. The sender will then receive a notification, depending on the option the recipient chooses, confirming the message was read.
It may not be the message you were hoping for, but at least you’ll know your child is safe.