With many of us working at home right now, being able to communicate with other people living in the same household about our current availability is something we have to deal with. That’s what the “Oh Bother” app, released today, promises to help its users with.

Described as “a tiny app for iPhone”, Oh Bother helps with preventing poorly-timed interruptions in a very simple manner. You can share your status with other users — a process implemented using iCloud sharing. Then you can set your status to “botherable” or “unbotherable”.

If you want to, you can also provide context about your status such as “in a video call” or “I’ve got headphones on”, and add a timer so that your status changes automatically after a while. The people you’re sharing your status with can then see it in the app and also get push notifications when it changes, so they know if you’re currently available or not.

Developer Dan explains his motivation behind making the app:

Since my wife and I both started working from home, we’re finding that it’s pretty easy to step on each other’s toes, so to speak, throughout the day. If I’m taking a quick break from work to make coffee, for example, I’ll often accidentally make a bunch of noise, or try to strike up a conversation, forgetting that she might be in the middle of a phone call, or just really focused on a difficult task.

I’ve been using the app and really enjoyed the way it’s designed. It’s simple, gets the job done and at the same time, it has the right amount of playfulness, which is exactly what you need if you want to turn it into a standard in your home.

Oh Bother is available for free in the App Store. Users who wish to support its development can get the in-app purchase, which gives access to some extra cosmetic options such as alternate icons and color palettes.

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Guilherme Rambo

I solve Apple’s mysteries for @9to5mac.