Only a decade ago, our navigation options were limited to choosing between expensive Garmin or TomTom devices, or a free solution like Google Maps for limited point to point navigation. At the time, the latter required a data plan and lacked multi-waypoint routes and off-road maps. Today, the situation is better and there are many competing smartphone navigation applications, each one with its unique innovations and advantages.
One of the rising stars in motorcycle navigation is Drive Mode Dashboard 2 (DMD2 to friends). The smartphone app is one component in a larger ecosystem that includes handlebar-mounted controllers and support for rugged navigation screens. At the time I’m writing this, the DMD2 application is only available for Android operating systems. Sorry, Apple fans.
The application was created and designed by João Pereira, a passionate Portuguese adventure rider who is also a software developer. One of DMD2’s key differentiators is its simple user interface (UI) and focus on motorcycle riding. Most other applications are meant for general purpose outdoors usage, but DMD2 is built by a rider for riders. As such, it attempts to solve the challenges that riders face while traveling. There are no deep menus or complex UIs. The design is minimalistic and utilitarian, and therefore quite intuitive to use and easy to learn.
Pereira tests his app frequently and keeps adding more motorcycling-specific features and capabilities. For example, the latest version is able to automatically show points of interest along the current route.