21st Century Parenting: This App Locks Kids’ Phones Until They Respond To Texts From Parents
Kids are notorious for carrying their phones pretty much everywhere, but still won’t respond to text messages from their parents. Of course, it can be worrisome and even annoying to concerned parents. Well, developer Nick Herbert got fed up with his son, Ben, not responding. So much so, that he came up with a new idea to combat the problem—one that moms and dads everywhere are bound to love. It’s an app that literally puts your kids’ phones on lockdown until they respond to your texts.
Nick, a project manager from West Wickham, England, had a problem with his 13-year-old son, Ben. Like most teens, Ben is pretty much obsessed with his smartphone. However, the teen wasn’t so great at using the phone to communicate with his father.
Of course, this really irked Nick, especially since, one day, there could be a real emergency. “He is always playing games and has the phone on silent. It drives me crazy,” Nick shared in an interview with the Daily Mail. So the father developed new technology that would force his son to get back to him in a timely manner.
Using his developer skills, Nick created a great solution to his problem. He developed an app called RespondASAP (previously ReplyASAP) to get his texts through to his son. The app takes over the recipient’s phone screen, sounding an alarm. Recipients may be able to hit the snooze button for a three-minute reprieve, but the app won’t stop with the alarm until the text message is answered. The app will even turn up the volume on the phone for the alert if the phone is on silent.
The app also allows parents to schedule messages which could be beneficial for events that your children need to make it to or important tasks they need to get done on different days. RespondASAP even gives the recipient’s location to the sender as well.
The app is currently only available for Android users (the app is currently being submitted for review with Apple as well). The app costs $1.25 to use for one person, around $3 to track four people, $9 for ten people and $17 for a platinum status which can text up to 20 people.
Even Ben is in support of the app…with some restrictions. “During the development process, I spoke to Ben 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,” Nick shared. “He will also have the ability to send me these messages, so there is a mutual understanding that using [RespondASAP] is only for important things and not because he needs new batteries for his Xbox controller.”
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