NEW YORK — A father tired of his son ignoring or failing to see his messages decided to do something about it – he built an app.
Nick Herbert wrote on the ReplyASAP website that he bought his son Ben a phone so they could communicate if something urgent came up.
“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.”
Ben keeps his phone on silent so his father doesn’t know, according to Herbert, and 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.”
So Herbert created ReplyASAP. When one person sends a text using the app, the recipient will get an audible alert – even in silent mode – until the message is read. The ReplyASAP message will also appear over whatever is currently on the screen.
Herbert says Ben ended up liking the idea because now father and son have a mutual understanding that the app is “only for important things and not because he needs new batteries for his Xbox controller.”
ReplyASAP also has “grown up” uses, Herbert says, like a last-second drink order change as a friend walks to the bar, extra help in finding a misplaced phone and relaying messages in crucial work situations.
The app is currently only available for Android devices but an iOS version is coming, according to Herbert.