Many parents bemoan that their children aren’t great about answering their texts or phone calls. Being able to reach kids quickly is often considered a matter of safety, and one father became so frustrated at his son’s slow response time that he decided to build an app to address the common problem.
Nick Herbert created and launched ReplyASAP – an app that gives users the ability to send urgent messages that the recipient can’t ignore without notifying the sender of their decision – when his son was 13 years old.
Discussing why he created the app, Herbert said, “There’s been a few occasions where I’ve tried and tried [to contact my son] and still nothing.”
“It’s generally a culmination of, how can I get in contact with him if I need to?” he added.
For the app to work, both people have to download it on their devices. Once installed, senders can create messages that force the recipient to take specific actions.
When a message comes in, the recipient can’t close the app until they choose to either snooze the message or cancel it. Once they make a choice, the sender receives a notification of the recipient’s selection.
Additionally, incoming messages trigger an audible alert, even when phones are set on silent.
All participants in the conversation can see if a message has been delivered or read. Users can message directly through the app for free.
Herbert considers the app a “safety mechanism.”
However, not everyone thinks that ReplyASAP is a great idea. Some comments on the Google Play page point out that the app could be used by an “abusive and controlling significant other,” adding that the app is a “horrible idea.”
Herbert replied to the comment, highlighting that “both parties have to agree to the app being installed and either can block the other, to mitigate the situation you mention.”
He also adds that he intended the app to be used “for urgent messages if other means fail.
Since being released in 2017, according to a report by Bored Panda, the Android app has been downloaded over 75,000 times. An iOS version is listed as “coming soon” on ReplyASAP’s website.