New app forces kids to reply to parents’ urgent texts ASAP
LONDON — A new smartphone app is giving moms and dads the upper hand, forcing kids to reply to texts from their parents ASAP.
British teenager Ben Herbert was never in a rush to text his dad back. Now, he has no choice. When that text comes in, an alarm goes off. That alarm is part of an app his dad created after Ben ignored him too many times.
“He may prioritize his friends messages over mine sometimes,” said dad Nick Herbert.
The Reply ASAP app makes missing a message impossible. It takes over the screen and sounds an alarm until the user responds. You can hit snooze, but the alert will just keep coming back.
“It could be annoying – but on the flip side, it’s important,” said Ben.
Nick Herbert launched the Android app 18-months ago and says more than 100,000 people have downloaded it. He acknowledges that some people may find the technology intrusive, but says it has actually improved his relationship with his son.
“From a safety perspective, if I send him a message it will tell me where he is at the time when the message arrives on his phone.”
Each user needs to download the app for it to work. Ben says he doesn’t mind the check ins. He keeps tabs on his dad, too.
“I have used it on him for some important situations.”
Ben’s dad says he doesn’t bombard his son with lots of texts – only “urgent” ones.
The app is only available for Android users. Apple has so far rejected it because of its location and sound features. Nick Herbert says he will continue to make changes to the iPhone version until it’s approved.