Parents, are you sick of being ignored by your own offspring? Worried that the lack of an answer to your SMS means that something terrible has happened? British father Nick Herbert was why he designed ReplyASAP, an app that blocks children from cell phones until they respond to their parents' messages.
ReplyASAP had a common problem: Herbert's son Ben silent mode and listens or ignores incoming messages from his father. Herbert was looking for an app that would override the mute and demand Ben's attention. Since this app did not seem to exist, Herbert decided to create their own.
Users open the app, enter a message and send it. When the message arrives at the other end (the recipients must also have the app on their phones), a loud alarm sounds and the screen is locked. The screen will not be unlocked until the recipient answers.
Ben was pleased to add the app to his phone. "It gives him the freedom to mute his phone," said Herbert Good Housekeeping in 201
It's free Send messages in the app, but Herbert says his family reserves it for urgent situations. "There is a mutual understanding that the use of ReplyASAP only applies to important things," he wrote on the app's website. "And not because [Ben] needs new batteries for its Xbox controller."
Herbert notes that he designed the app For families, his friends quickly presented "adult" ways they could use it themselves. "Her suggestions ranged from changing your order when your friend picks up the drinks at the bar, over the phone that you have misplaced at home, to work situations where you need to reach work colleagues quickly."  The app is currently available for Android users in the US. Herbert hopes to be able to add an iPhone version soon.
An earlier version of this story appeared in 2017.