imHome lets parents rest easy when their children are home alone

By Kerri Neill on 7 Sep 2012 04:19 pm EDT

If you have children who are learning to stay home alone and don’t have their own cell phones, imHome may be a comfort to both you and your child. imHome by Tristan Cater is a great way to use your BlackBerry PlayBook to communicate with your child whenever they’re home alone.

imHome is for the children (between 8 and 13 years old) where they may be home alone for short periods of time. The program is very easy to use with a simple interface that most ages will be able to navigate with very little issues. With a simple press of the button, you will know your child has arrived home safely, if homework has been completed or that all their chores are done. For some age groups, just pressing the icons on the PlayBook within the imHome app is actually easier than using a phone.

Main Features:

  • Simple easy to understand icons
  • Chat with your child via email when you can’t take phone calls
  • Options to change texts and icons on the home screen

Most of you who have been reading the blogs here on CrackBerry know I have children. I also work a part-time job which, when the school year started, caused me a bit of anxiety over leaving the children alone until I could get home. Usually my 16 year old is home with the other two (14 and 5) and will shoot me a BBM letting me know when each of them arrives home safely. Same goes for when the oldest has to stay after school and the 14 year old is in charge. Now with imHome, my 5 year old can practice what she should do when she gets older and communicate with mom when I can’t answer the phone.

imHome is available for the BlackBerry PlayBook in App World for $0.99.

For more information / purchase imHome

Reader comments

imHome lets parents rest easy when their children are home alone


Ok I want this! A question? My daughter has her own bb playbook. But she does not have her own e-mail on it. Does she need an e-mail for this to work? Or does the communciation jusst go between the playbook with no e-mail and my e-mail address? If this is the case I am buying it.

Nope, she doesn't need an email. When she sends a message to you, it comes to you as an email. You click the link in the email and it opens a page in your browser so you can respond, and your replies show up in the application.

Very cool! I am going to go buy it. Hoping that we can also send 2 e-mails. One to me and one to my wife.

I don't see that as an option. I tried putting 2 emails in the field (first with a comma then without) but the message failed each time. Maybe suggest that to the developer for a future update. :)


The developer here.

I am trying out a new email script. You should be able to send to multiple email addresses now. Just put both emails into the email field in the settings.

I think some international users were having troubles sending emails. This should be fixed now.

The web side of the chat should now be a bit faster too.

Please take time to leave a review in App World if you like the program.

Please email me at the support email or message me on here if you have any further suggestions or troubles.


This sounds like a cool app but Im really tired of Playbook not having any free apps. Get some free versions of your apps RIM and stop being so f***ing greedy.

For the billionth time, developers set the prices, not RIM. And how is it greedy to do work or provide a service and ask to be paid for it?

OMG, would you look at the price they're asking for this! I mean think about all the things you can buy for $1 (not a hell of a lot these days) and consider the value this simple program is offering. If you are going to be so freakin cheap, why don't you build your own program then.

...quit's not like the prices of any of the apps are going to break you...if so, then you shouldn't own the thing in the first's like buying a car then bitching to the manufacturer about the price of want free? (and often shitty) go to Android and enjoy the advertisement banners...or stay here, pay a dollar or two and enjoy it....f*&@ing whiny damn kids...'s funny you never hear anyone cry about having to pay for programs for their PC but on a tablet they should all be free???... get a damn clue...

BlackBerry Torch 9860 BBOS 7.1
BlackBerry PlayBook O/S 2.xx.xxxx
BlackBerry PlayBook LTE O/S 2.xx.xxxx

Okay, so from the below comments this communication is one way. Let me copyright this idea, could an app be created to two way between two playbook by text or picture snap shots...yeah, something similar to video chatting... Remember, the PB ecosystem is mainly wi-fi & bridge access to data.


It's 2 way communication. The child initiates the message on the PlayBook. Parent is alerted via email. Parent opens link in email (which opens up a browser based chat environment) and sends message back to child. Child responds to message either with a pre-set phrase (by choosing a picture) or by typing. Messages show up both in the browser the parent has open and in the app on the PlayBook.

It's actually pretty cool. I can now text with my daughter and she doesn't have to have an email or phone to text me. This is great. My daughter and I are going to really enjoy this.

This sounds very interesting. My daughter is only 4 right now but it would definitely be something I would be interested in when she is a bit older!!! I like this!!!

"It's illegal to leave children under 14 home alone here."

Not sure where you are but in the UK (where I live) people *believe* it's 14 but there isn't actually any defined age although depending on circumstances you could be subject to criminal charges under the Children and Young Persons Act 1933. However if you were leaving an eight-year old to fend for themselves as suggested in the article, I suspect that soon the message you'd via this app would be

"mummy, the social workers are here!"

Here in the US, there is no specified age for leaving a child home alone for a REASONABLE amount of time. I firmly believe the age varies depending on the child. My oldestdaughter has been able to stay home by herself for an hour or two since she was 12. My son however, is known for not making smart choices so he has not been permitted to stay home alone until now (he's 14).  I know several single parents who work and can't get their children into before or after school care because they make too much money. While I don't condone them leaving their children alone, some don't have a choice and an app like this would certainly ease some worries.

As of today non English characters should now supported. If anyone can get back to me to verify this that would be great!

DM me or send me an email at the support email address.

knowing how I was from 8 to 14 years old, I will never leave my child home alone until they have the maturity to handle an emergency situation. fall down the stairs, carbon monoxide alarms, blackouts..... nope, i just won't leave my under-14 child home alone under any circumstances.

Knowing how I was at 16 is exactly why I won't let my 16 year old daughter stay home alone for a weekend lol. I agree that the child needs to know what to do in emergency situations.

Killian: I'm wondering where my parents are?

Killian: Why did you give me such a strange name?

Killian: Why am I writing into this thing?

Killian: Never mind, there's a circus in town, I think I'll go join.

Bought this app yesterday. Bit gimmicky but it’s okay overall. I have 4 kids starting from 5 years old to new born. I really have no use for it as I don’t expect to leave any of them home alone for at least the next 10 years but I bought it anyways. Why you ask? No idea……

Guess a bit curiosity and a bit wanting to support the developer.

I won't buy this program, because I don't have any kids at home. But I really do like it for the simple reason that it makes the PlayBook relavent in peoples everyday lives in a very positive way. A practical application for a tablet, will wonders never cease.

When I was growing up, as well as all generations before me, we did just fine without constant communication with our parents. We even did shocking things like walking too and from grade school all by ourselves! Oh, the horror of it all! Playing in the park, catching creatures down by the river, riding our bikes all over the city. All without parental hovering. And so amazingly, not a single on of us was molested, kidnapped or seriously injured. Now that we're in the real world, we seem to do alright. A generation after me when all this "parents as friends" stuff started and everyone received a blue ribbon for participation; these people are easy to spot in the working world because they can't handle everyday situations without breaking down into tears.

Blame the media, I do. When all the media ever focuses on are horror stories, or bad news stories, then it becomes the focus and reality of those who consume what the media offers. The Golden Rule in the world of news media is "Bad News Sells," so if making it sound like there's a sexual deviant lurking behind every bush makes the media more money, then that's exactly what you're going to hear. The news media is big money and they are far more interested in ratings then they are in accurately depicting the world we live in.