I used the Hello Chinese App (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.hellochinese) to learn vocab, reading writing. Its got a good way to learn the words, review, and it really helps you be fluid in your thinking when using the language.
Otherwise, hellochat is perfect for practice. I used these for 6 months before coming to china, and after that is was so easy to keep picking up the language organically.
Also pleco for looking up characters and stroke order.
The best program for Learning Mandarin. Once you’ve used it for a while you’ll know why. It’s an SRS Flashcards program and it just does everything right:
- Fairly easy to get started.
- Completely customisable and very powerful for more advanced users.
- Open source.
- Multi-platform (I use it on Android).
- Syncs between devices.
- Easy to import and export data.
- Large community.
I would recommend to try Learn Chinese Free - ChineseSkill app (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.chineseskill)
- Major of the content is completely free
- Game based curriculum, multiple test modes
- Offline learning supported
- Competing with friends, thus making the learning more addictive and fun
Best way to start.
I am currently using duolingo to refresh spanish. It's a really easy app that can integrate into your daily routine.