To input Chinese characters, you need to add a Chinese keyboard in your device’s settings. You can do this by going to Settings > General > Keyboards > Add New Keyboard.
After setting up the Chinese pinyin keyboard on your device, to switch to or from the Chinese keyboard, click on the ‘Globe’ icon. The Simplified Chinese Pinyin keyboard is listed as 简体拼音. The Traditional Chinese Pinyin keyboard is listed as 繁體拼音.
Type the pinyin for the character you want, then select the correct character from the window by clicking on it.
If you want to type in the Roman alphabet with tone marks above the vowels, simply long-press that letter, and the tone options will appear.
Click on the globe icon on the keyboard and slide up to where it says 简体手写 (in the case of simplified Chinese handwriting recognition) or 繁體手寫 (in traditional Chinese).
You will now be able to write a Chinese character by drawing characters in the box at the bottom of the screen. Some options of characters will appear. Click on the character that you want to enter. When you are done typing in Chinese, you can click on the globe at the bottom of the keyboard again to switch the keyboard back to another language.
NOTE: The Pinyin and Handwriting keyboards allow you to type the Chinese language by spelling out the Chinese characters’ pronunciation with the Roman alphabet or drawing the characters with your own handwriting.
Tip: Some Chinese pinyin words are spelled using ‘ü’ which you might not have on your keyboard. To type ‘ü,’ type the letter ‘v’ instead. For example, if you want the character 女 (nü), typing ‘nu’ won’t bring up the right character, you will have to type ‘nv.’ J, Q, X, and Y are never followed by an ‘ü,’ so you don’t need to type ‘v’ after these letters.