To input Chinese characters, you need to add a Chinese keyboard in your iPhone's settings. You can do this by going to:


Settings > General > Keyboards > Add New Keyboard.


And for pinyin, after you switch to a Chinese keyboard, press and hold on a vowel to see all 4 tones, as shown below:



There is also keyboard for "handwriting" that will let you write the Chinese characters.




- Android users will have to download an additional app in order to type in Chinese and do a bit more work, but the process is still quite simple.

  • In the Google Play store, search for and download the “Google Pinyin Input” app to your device.
  • Once installed, pop on over to your phone’s “Settings” and select “Language & input.”
  • Under “Keyboard & input methods” select “Current Keyboard.” This will likely be “English (US) – Android Keyboard.”
  • Select “Choose Keyboards.”
  • Look for “Google Pinyin Input” under the list of keyboard and input methods. Switch it on.
  • When you go back to “Keyboard & input methods,” you’ll notice that there’s now a tab for Chinese. From there, you’ll find a ton of settings and options to choose from, but for the sake of simplicity, leave those settings as-is.
  • Go to an app that uses a keyboard. Select the little globe on the left side of your keyboard.
  • There’ll now be a 中 (Zhōng) — China and EN tab. Select the “中” tab.
  • Select the “QWERTY” layout, as it’s the easiest to use.

That’s all for Android users! Like the iPhone, you can switch between keyboards using the globe icon on your Android device.