This dad built an app that freezes kids’ phones until they call parents back

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New Delhi | Published: January 9, 2019 10:48:47 PM

Currently only available on Android, the app was first launched in August 2017 and has been downloaded more than 70,000 times

Annoyed with his kid?s habits of ignoring calls, this dad built an app to stop that

Humans have evolved and so has the technology. It’s almost rare to see anyone doing anything without a smartphone in hand. However, as people engage more and more in the virtual world, the real world has taken a back seat. And frustrated with all this, a parent has invented a clever app that locks the person’s phone if they don’t reply or call back their parents. So ‘the phone was silent’ excuse is not going to work anymore if your parents have any say in it.

The app called ReplyASAP displays a message on the phone and locks it until you interact even when your phone is on the silent mode – meaning it will take over your phone and won’t work until you do the needful which is let your parents know that you are okay and the time you will be back.

Currently only available on Android, ReplyASAP was launched in August 2017 and has been downloaded more than 70,000 times. Its iOS version is currently under development and is expected to come soon, according to some reports. The app can be downloaded for free, but parents or guardians can unlock more functions through in-app purchases.

Texts can only be sent to other people on the app and there is a one-time charge to contact another person. Explaining the app on his website, Nick Herbert, the app developer, said: “This app was born out of personal frustrations with current messaging apps.

“I have a son, Ben, who is at secondary school. When he started school I bought him a smartphone so that I could contact him and he could contact me (obviously not while at school).”

As the “solution” turned into a “problem” with Ben playing video games and watching videos on his phone and kept his phone on silent and often missed calls and messages from his dad.

And that’s how Nick decided to make ReplyASAP.

“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 continued. “He will also have the ability to send me these messages – so there is mutual understanding that using ReplyASAP is only for important things and not because he needs new batteries for his Xbox controller.”

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