In the near future, the average desktop or laptop owner in Apple Valley, Hesperia and Victorville will no longer use his or her mouse, keyboard, trackpad, or touchscreen the majority of the time.

Thanks to ongoing improvements in the fields of artificial intelligence and machine learning, virtual personal assistants such as Apple Siri, Microsoft Cortana, and Google Now will allow computer users to control their systems mostly with their voice.

Although Siri is perhaps the best-known personal assistant due to clever marketing by Apple, Google Now and Microsoft Cortana are considered by many to be more intuitive and powerful. The development teams responsible for these two assistants are racing each other to make their technologies smarter and more useful.

If you are not taking advantage of Cortana in your Windows 10 system at this moment, PC Performance Pros in Victorville recommends the following:

Getting Started With Cortana

By virtue of being a part of Windows 10, Microsoft Cortana is bound to become the most widely used personal assistant around the world. Setting up Cortana is easy: “she” can be accessed from the new Start menu, which is sorted alphabetically by default.

The Cortana Settings window can be activated by clicking or tapping the third icon from the top. From the Settings menu, you can find two options that should be enabled: the application itself and the activation shortcut, which is “hey Cortana” by default.

Basic Cortana Commands

You can control many Windows 10 features without touching your system by telling Cortana what to do. For example to manage Bluetooth connectivity, you can awaken her by saying “hey Cortana,” followed by “turn on/off Bluetooth.”

To launch apps or the Control Panel, simply say “open” followed by the name of the app or “Control Panel.” Cortana can also help you adjust system settings; for example, saying “change wallpaper” will prompt Cortana to display the link to this function, thereby saving you lots of clicks or screen taps.

To make things easier for you, some Microsoft apps are already integrated with Cortana; for example, saying “play music” will result in the Groove application resuming the previous playlist or shuffling through the audio files.

Cortana can easily find files or apps if you say “search” followed by what you are looking for. If you say “send mail,” Cortana will launch the Windows 10 Mail app and will prompt you to speak out the header fields.

The tips above are just the beginning; if you would like to learn more, simply say “hey Cortana, what are all the Cortana voice commands?”