Chinese Aide isn't just a dictionary: it's a real-time speech comprehension tool, designed by and for beginning and intermediate students of Mandarin Chinese. Its author found existing dictionary tools inadequate for real-time translation due to the need to manipulate longer phrases and the difficulty distinguishing tones in natural Mandarin speech. Chinese Aide is a tool for dealing with these shortcomings, making on-the-fly Mandarin-to-English translation faster and more practical.
Enter the pinyin for a phrase that you hear (tone numbers are optional), and even if the phrase as a whole is not in the dictionary, Chinese Aide attempts to provide a framework to construct the correct phrase and translation from any parts of the phrase that are in the dictionary. It then lets you test the phrase against real-world data by feeding it automatically to various search engines.
For convenience, you can also enter English or Chinese character searches, in which case the app behaves like a standard dictionary. For any type of search, you can toggle between exact matching and substring matching as appropriate.