GPS app lands BYU grads national recognition

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iPhone apps are a dime a dozen. However, a group of BYU graduates have set their GPS app apart, as it was recently featured on Time Magazine’s website.

GPS devices have stormed technology platforms. Common in vehicles, computers and smart phones, GPS technology is a necessity for many.

That was the niche the executives of Garafa iOS Development, formed by BYU graduates, needed when they launched their first app called “GPS Kit,” which was recently featured in Time.com’s Father’s Day special.

Spencer Smith, a BYU graduate, CFO and senior engineer of Garafa, was surprised when finding out they had made it to Time.com.

“We had no idea we were mentioned,” Smith said. “We had a user call us about halfway through the day the article was out.”

Technology blogger Chris Gayomali from Time.com selected GPS Kit as a top 15 app for Father’s Day. A customer delivered the news after calling Garafa’s tech line.

Smith said being featured in national platforms is an enormous triumph for their GPS app.

“We saw a spike in sales, the highest in one year,” Smith said.

This national recognition landed the executives from Garafa an interview by “The Browser,” a KSL-produced radio show.

Garafa has created more than 40 apps. After Apple launched the first App Store in 2008, Garafa’s founders decided to venture in with GPS Kit. It made $4,500 in a single day.

Jonathan Lund, BYU graduate, CEO and senior engineer, said this experience gave them confidence going forward.

“It was eye-opening and we realized this can actually be a career path,” Lund said.

What grabbed national attention was how GPS Kit comes equipped with “Squawk.”

Live tracking whereabouts and communicating with others in real time is Squawk’s main feature. It was this feature, along with accurate weather station information and personalized maps, that propelled GPS Kit above the rest.

Joe Wilson, a BYU graduate, is Garafa’s CCO and interaction/art director. He said Garafa never intended to only hire BYU graduates.

“In looking for qualified individuals, it has been pure coincidence that so far only BYU graduates have been selected,” Wilson said. “We think this speaks very highly of BYU and the caliber of graduates it produces.”

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