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New cellphone app for parents freezes kid's phone until they answer

A father in the United Kingdom has created a new phone app that allows parents to freeze their kid's phone until they acknowledge the message or phone call. (Roslan Rahman/AFP/GettyImages)

A dad in the United Kingdom who was tired of his teenage son ignoring his father's phone calls and text messages has designed a new app so that other parents don't have to deal with the same frustration.

Entrepreneur Nick Herbert, 45, recently launched "ReplyASAP," a new app available on Android devices that freezes the screen and sounds an alarm until the user answers or acknowledges a call or message from the parent number.

Herbert said he gave his son, Ben, a cellphone after he started high school, under the assumption that the new purchase would make it easier for him to get ahold of his son.

"However, what I thought was a solution turned into a different problem. 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," Herbert wrote on the app's website. "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."

In addition to freezing all other programs and sounding an alarm until the message is acknowledged, ReplyASAP also sends the parent phone a notification when the message has been read.

Peace of mind

"I’m hoping the app will make our relationship better. It will alleviate the stress when I can’t get hold of him as I will know that he has seen my message," Herbert said.

Although some teens may not be too keen on the idea, Herbert said some of their fears can be alleviated by knowing that they have the same ability to send urgent messages back to their parents.

"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," Herbert wrote.

ReplyASAP is currently available for Android devices, and Herbert said he is working to add the iOS version very soon.



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