first tone (high): ā
Spoken relatively higher than other words.
third tone (low): ǎ
Spoken lower and almost a bit "creaky". It falls a little bit as your say it. In isolation or at the end of a sentence you do more of a falling-rising tone, but in daily conversation it's usually more of a low tone.
When two third tones are back to back the first is instead pronounced as rising. In kě yǐ for example, the kě sounds like a rising tone.
second tone (low to high): á
Rising in pitch while saying the word.
For example, if you say "Do you want some tea?" in english, tea is often said with a rising tone.
forth tone (high to low): à
From a high pitch to a low pitch.
For exmaple, if you say "Let's go" in english, go is often said with a falling tone.
Prolong the sound of the previous character. Which also makes the neutral toned character sound "shorter" in comparison. It's less like a tone and more like a rhythm.
A very fast non-phonetic input method which is popular in the mainland. All characters can be typed with 4 or fewer key presses. Each character is broken down into components (usually the radicals, but not always) and the order of the keypresses are the order in which the character would be hand drawn. For more complex characters the first 3 parts are typed followed by the final part which is enough to make nearly every character unique. In the few cases where multiple 4 key presses are non-unique pressing a number (1 or 2), will pick between the options. Pressing space is usually equivalent to pressing 1.