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New App Gets Around School Bans on Texting

Photograph by Twenty20

Here's what typically happens when you send a text (because we all send texts, right? Nobody talks on the phone anymore): You type the text, hit send and it flies through the ether to your closest cell tower.

It then bounces from one tower to another until it reaches the person you're texting. This takes only a few seconds, but it also takes a chunk of your data each time you do it—even if the person you're texting is only a few feet away (What? It happens).

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Jott is aiming to change that. This app uses "AirChat™, a proprietary technology that lets nearby users chat even without cellular or Internet service. It works by creating an offline "mesh network" to send text messages to anyone with Bluetooth capability within about a thousand yards.

So, of course, kids are downloading this app like crazy. In just a few months, Jott jumped to a half million users and a million installs in just a few months on the market. It's "solved" the "no texting capability at school" problem for kids who only have a tablet to use in class.

There's also undeniably good news about Jott: It's set up to keep kids safe.

But Jott's swears up and down they're not the bad guy. A company spokesperson for Jott assured CNN Money that most usage is before school, during lunch and after school, so there's no need to get too outraged about kids texting during school hours.

We hope.

There's also undeniably good news about Jott: It's set up to keep kids safe. You can easily block and report bad behavior, and you have to approve a connection before texting can happen, which makes it hard for bullies to get an edge in. There are great privacy features including screenshot detection and disappearing chats. Kids can set up groups to chat just with their friends and leave or ban people at any time.

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So while Jott doesn't necessarily keep our kids focused at school, it's probably one of the better texting options available.

What do you think? Will you let your kids Jott?

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