Anki is a piece of Spaced Repetition Software, a flashcard engine, which helps you review your material at the optimal time, just when you are about to forget it.
Skritter (iOS and web-based) is a paid service which integrates a Spaced Repetition algorithm with per-stroke based handwriting recognition. It integrates the learning experience with an extensive library of vocabulary lists and a centralized dictionary. This approach provides good training in writing while giving you a clear overview of your progress, by logging all your study activity. One week’s free trial is available, but if you ask nicely the administrators might allow you to try it out for one full month before deciding. Write them an e-mail.
Baidu Music is a phenomenal service that offers legal download of music to users accessing the site from China. It is a good place to get introduced to Chinese music, finding lyrics transcripts, and getting confidence in one’s own ability to navigate the Chinese web.
ThinkinChina is a monthly lecture series in Wudaokou, Beijing that brings Chinese academics to a Western audience to discuss current international affairs and contemporary China. You can also follwo us on facebook.
Google Pinyin IME is a keyboard plugin for Android phones. This is what you need to install, if you want to write messages in Chinese on your Android phone.
Pleco is a portable dictionary software for iOS and Android (crippled Chinese version). There is a fully functional version available for free, allowing users to purchase additional dictionaries and extensions at very reasonable prices.(*) The Fullscreen Handwriting Recognition is especially worth taking a look at. The ECCS strongly advises students to familiarize themselves with this tool as a everyday supplement to your bulky paper dictionaries.
(*) Students who have bought their Android phone in China may find themselves unable to make in-app purchases. To look for an explanation of how to get the paid add-ons, go here.
Wenlin is a desktop dictionary software, which sports mouse-over translation, automated character conversion and transcription. A free demo is available. The paid version is sort of expensive, but well worth it.