When Nick Herbert, a father in the United Kingdom, noticed that his son Ben wasn’t replying to his texts, he came up with a novel idea that will ensure kids see their parents’ texts and respond to them in a timely fashion.

Upon getting Ben an iPhone when he went to middle school, and under the guise of keeping in touch with his son, Herbert quickly noticed that simply getting him a phone wouldn’t necessarily ensure that he would have an easy way to contact his son.

“I still can’t get hold of him very easily as it’s always on silent because he is (playing) games or has been at school and forgotten to turn the sound back on,” Herbert told Good Housekeeping.

This conundrum planted the seed for ReplyASAP, an app that sounds an alarm until the recipient acknowledges a text from a designated sender. Even if the recipient’s phone is on silent, the alarm will still sound, and a message will appear over whatever else they are doing on their phone. The alarm will only stop after the recipient has read the message, allowing parents to confirm that their children have seen it.

As ReplyASAP works reciprocally, children can also send urgent messages to their parents if need be. Of course, the app is not restricted for use between children and parents, and anyone wishing to make sure someone reads their texts can use it – the only condition is that both users have the app installed on their phones.

As parents navigate the technological landscape in which their children go up by trial and error, ReplyASAP is a welcome addition to parents’ arsenal of digital tools.

At present, ReplyASAP is only available for Android phones, but an iOS version is under development.

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