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New App ReplyASAP (Invented by a Dad!) Locks Kids' Phones Until They Message Their Parents Back

U.K. dad Nick Herbert says his invention ReplyASAP "was born out of personal frustrations with current messaging apps" when communicating with his son Ben

When a U.K.-based dad was frustrated over not getting texts back from his son, he took matters into his own hands — by tapping into some seriously intuitive tech.

Nick Herbert, the mastermind behind the ReplyASAP , shared his story on the app’s website, revealing that it was “born out of personal frustrations with current messaging apps” after he bought his son Ben a smartphone.

“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,” he added.

“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 users to send messages immediately or for at a point in the future, and makes a message audible even if the recipient has their phone on silent. It even gives the message sender the recipient’s location.

The kicker? The recipient will not be allowed to engage in any activity on their phone this link opens in a new tab until they interact with the message from the sender, essentially “locking” or “freezing” the device in the meantime.

“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,” he explained.

ReplyASAP starts at about $1.25 for the ability to connect to one other person, to around $16.50 for 20 connections. The app is currently only available for Android, but “coming soon” for iOS devices.

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