If you're using an official Google-approved Android device that supports Google Play, like a Samsung / HTC / Motorola / LG smartphone, open up Google Play, search for "Pleco" and tap "Pleco Chinese Dictionary" to instantly download the free basic version of Pleco for Android.
We also have an alternate Google Play download ("CN Pleco Chinese Dictionary") with in-app add-on purchases disabled, for users with Chinese-localized phones who can access Google Play but can't download paid Android apps.
Our app is also available in the Amazon AppStore, useful if you have an Amazon Kindle Fire or are using a phone that doesn't support Google Play.
Finally, you can also install Pleco directly from our own server by typing pleco.com/getandroid in your device's web browser. (see this page for more detailed instructions on how to install Pleco outside of Google Play)
You can buy lots of interesting add-ons to make Pleco more useful, but even the free version stacks up well against any other paid or free Chinese dictionary on Android - it's a wonderful little app with two great dictionaries, the same fantastic search engine as our full app, lite versions of our flashcard / text reader functions and a fantastically customizable interface. And no ads, we won't even nag you about buying add-ons.
Download Pleco for Android before June 30th and get our very popular handwriting input module for free (normally a paid add-on); we even give you a code so that you can reactivate it if you re-download Pleco after the promotion ends.
OCR - our latest and greatest new feature; point your device's camera at a printed Chinese word to instantly look up its meaning. You don't even need to take a picture, it works on the live camera video feed. Also includes support for OCR from still images (scroll the image around to look up characters). There's even a "barcode scanner" type mode where you can create flashcards simply by pointing at words. An OCR demo video for Android should be posted soon, but you can see videos of the almost-identical iPhone version here (or here if you can't access YouTube) for a better idea of what this is all about; there's more information and a few screenshots in the instruction manual here.
Great Dictionaries - we've licensed more than a dozen of the world's best Chinese dictionaries to embed in our software, including the ABC Chinese-English Comprehensive Dictionary edited by John DeFrancis (with almost 200,000 entries), the brand-new ABC English-Chinese Dictionary also edited by John DeFrancis, the Chinese-Chinese Xiandai Hanyu Guifan Cidian, the 280,000-entry 21st Century English-Chinese Dictionary, the legendary Pocket Oxford Chinese Dictionary, and the Tuttle Learner's Chinese-English Dictionary. (several free dictionaries like CC-CEDICT and HanDeDict are also available as free downloads) And another big batch of new dictionaries is due for release this spring.
Handwriting input - with a recognition engine licensed from China's leading maker of handwriting input systems. And it's free until June 30th! You can use the entire width of your device's screen to draw characters and clear / backspace / finish entering characters using multitouch (two-finger tap). It's extremely accurate, tolerant of stroke order mistakes, and supports cursive writing, helpful for more advanced users (or for asking people to write down what they're saying when you can't understand them).
Flashcard System - create a card from any dictionary entry with a single button tap, import premade word lists, use advanced memorization techniques like SRS, and study in a variety of modes including fill-in-the-blanks handwriting and tone drills.
Fantastic Performance - we've been refining our software for 10 years, and our proprietary database engine (though extremely powerful / flexible) was originally developed to offer decent performance on a late-90s vintage Palm Pilot, so even complicated searches are very fast.
Powerful Search - look up words by Chinese characters, Pinyin (with or without tones), or a combination of characters and Pinyin, with support for wildcards and for full-text search to find words appearing anywhere in a dictionary definition.
Cross-referencing - tap on any Chinese character / word in any dictionary entry to look up its definition; you can also magnify / look up those words, look up other words containing a particular character, or bring up additional reference information (from the Unihan character database) on individual characters.
Audio Pronunciation - instantly hear a native-speaker Mandarin audio recording of each Chinese headword; recordings are available for over 34,000 words.
Stroke Order Diagrams - view beautiful, smooth animations of how to draw each character; over 20,000 characters are covered.
Document Reader - open a Chinese-language text file and look up unknown words simply by tapping on them. You can also look up characters in other apps and on web pages via the clipboard. (clipboard mode is free, text file support is a paid add-on)
Taiwan- and Mainland-friendly - supports both traditional and simplified characters (in definitions, stroke order, searches, OCR, and handwriting), and supports Zhuyin as well as Pinyin for headword search and display.
Pleco for Android is designed to work on devices running Android 2.2 or later; it won't work on Android 2.1 or any earlier version. It has been tested on Android 2.2, 2.3, 3.0, 3.1, 3.2, 4.0, 4.1, and 4.2, and on "small" (very small phones), "normal" (most phones), "large" (Kindle Fire and other 7-inch tablets), and "xlarge" (Motorola Xoom and other 10-inch tablets) screens, and we've even begun to optimize it for tablets (there's a split-screen version of the main dictionary search screen, and sizes of various parts of the interface should scale up nicely), though full tablet optimization won't come until a later release. Most of our testing so far has been with stock firmware, though we have checked it with CyanogenMod and a few of the popular custom Galaxy firmwares too.
Pleco does not require Google Play support at all; you can download our free app from our website and purchase add-ons for it in our own online store, there's no need to fiddle around with Market Enabler or swapping SIM cards or any of that. And you don't need a special Chinese-localized Android device, Pleco works great regardless of where you purchased it / what language the operating system is configured to use. However, we do not recommend attempting to use it on any Barnes & Noble Nook devices, as it's generally not possible to run third-party apps on those without violating the warranty.
An internet connection (WiFi or cellular) is required to purchase and download add-on dictionaries and other features; once those are downloaded, though, Pleco can run quite happily without any internet connection required.
See this page for instructions on migrating a previously-purchased Pleco license for iPhone / iPod / iPad / Windows Mobile / Palm to Android. You can actually transfer an iOS license to Android and continue using it on iOS.
Unfortunately, it's not currently possible to transfer a Pleco Android license to iOS, However, if you purchase the Android version of Pleco from our online store and then decide within 1 year of that purchase that you'd like to use the iOS version instead, purchase the iOS equivalent of what you purchased on Android, then send us proof of purchase and we'll be happy to refund you the lesser of a) the amount you paid for the Android version or b) the amount you have to pay for the iOS version. We strongly suggest that you contact us to verify that your Android purchase is eligible for this offer before buying the iOS version.