How to Type Chinese with Pinyin (Android)

There are a few options for Chinese Input on Android phones and tablets, including Android’s native input methods. However, the most popular method is to download the official Google Pinyin Input app.

Don’t know pinyin or want some practice? Learn pinyin on your Android.

Adding Chinese pinyin input methods on Android

To enable Chinese pinyin input on your Android phone / tablet, start by downloading the Google Pinyin Input app.

Once downloaded, open Settings and tap Language & keyboard. Finally, under Keyboard and input methods, make sure that Google Pinyin Input is turned On.

Android Pinyin - Google Pinyin Input app install
1. Download Google Pinyin Input from Google play
Android Pinyin - Settings Language and Keyboard
2. In Settings, select Language & keyboard

Android Pinyin - Settings Enable Google Pinyin Input
3. Turn on Google Pinyin Input

After completing these steps, you’re all ready to start typing Chinese on your Android phone / tablet!

Switching between input methods

How you actually change input modes varies a little by device.

For example, on HTC devices running Jelly Bean, you can access your android pinyin method from the notifications drop down window (shown below on the left).

However, on many other Android devices you will have a #12 key or “Globe” key next to the space bar that allows you to switch to Chinese Pinyin and other input methods (shown below on the right).

Android Pinyin Chinese Input in Notifications Window
a. Switching input via the notifications drop down
Android Pinyin Input Method from button by space bar
b. Input selection after tapping the 12# key

Either way, you will be provided with a short tutorial the first time you select the Chinese Pinyin / Google Pinyin Input method that will walk you through a few more details.

Android Pinyin Tutorial
Android Pinyin Tutorial Tip

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  1. Hugo M. Nijhof - reply

    It seems impossible for me to type pinyin like nü or lüxing. And so I cannot use those words… How can I solve this problem?

    • steven - reply

      Hi Hugo,
      For ü, type v instead. For example nv => 女, lvxing => 旅行. Hope that helps!

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