Twitter | @NickHerbert, Reddit

Dad Creates App That Forces Kids To See Parents' Texts

Growing up, the only thing more stressful than discovering I had missed several texts and a call from my mom was losing my phone itself. With the way that she could worry, I figured she had half a mind to call the police by the time I finally answered.

And of course, those situations are doubly stressful for parents, who often feel every minute of those hours of radio silence.

So it's not much of a surprise that somebody would get tired enough of this phenomenon to do something about it as one British dad has.

Nick Herbert's story should sound familiar to a lot of parents.

Twitter | @NickHerbert

As CBS News reported, when his son, Ben, turned 12, he decided to give him some freedom.

The only rule he had for this was simple: Check in throughout the day.

However, Ben would often get caught up in the fun of playing video games with his friends and forget to do this.

Reddit | MajorEthanolic

To make things even more difficult, Ben's phone would be set on silent, so when Nick tried to check in himself, his son wouldn't be aware of it.

Eventually, Nick got fed up with sending unanswered text after unanswered text all the time.

He started to wonder if he could find a way to rig an alarm to Ben's phone, since those will sound even when a phone is on silent.

So with the help of a developer friend, he found a solution.

Google Play | ReplyASAP

They created an app called ReplyASAP, which allows people to send each other emergency texts that sound an alarm until the recipient acknowledges the text.

However, those worrying that just anyone can annoy them with inescapable texts can rest assured. It doesn't work that way.

For the app to work, a user must send who they're trying to keep tabs on an invitation to use it too.

Google Play | ReplyASAP

If and only if they accept it, both parties can start sending each other "ASAP messages." Although the app is free to download, users do have to pay for bundles that determine how many people they can have this connection with.

These ASAP messages can be sent immediately, but they can also be scheduled for certain times.

Google Play | ReplyASAP

Once they're sent, they take over the recipient's screen so this person can't go back to whatever they were doing. As mentioned, an alarm will also ring and there's only one way to stop it.

Once someone gets an ASAP message, they can either delay it by three minutes or cancel it.

Google Play | ReplyASAP

In either case, the sender will be able to see how the person they're trying to reach responded to their message.

While the recipient's phone isn't exactly held hostage if they don't reply, this does ensure they see the message.

To ensure that these ASAP messages are taken seriously and don't become an exciting new way to get left on read, Nick recommends saving them for emergencies.

Reddit | blvck_african

As he told CBS News, "I told my son, 'If you want to make it urgent send me one of these. If you want to know where some socks are, send a text message and I can reply when I can.'"

After eight months of development, the app became available for Android users on the Google Play store.

Reddit | ownagebyte

However, although the product's description says that ReplyASAP allows communication between Android and iOS users, there is no actual iOS version of the app yet.

h/t: CBS News