On Reading Reviews

In commenting on John Gruber’s iPhone 5 review, Marco Arment offers a pearl of wisdom regarding reviews:

Around these parts, every major Apple release is greeted by extensive reviews from just about everyone. Since I'm a human being, I can't read all of them (especially since they tend to be very long, have a lot of overlap, and come out at roughly the same time), so I usually read one or two from my favorite authorities and skip the rest.

This is great advice. Marco mentions John Siracusa’s legendary OS X reviews and Viticci’s iOS reviews, but the general sentiment is applicable to any sort of review, regardless of industry. Find one or two established, well-respected authorities whose opinion(s) you trust, and stick to their reviews. As Marco notes, most people only have a finite amount of time to read such things, and most of the information is regurgitated one way or another. For me, I always set aside time to read Siracusa’s and Gruber’s work, though I will admit to reading others, particularly those from Jason Snell of Macworld.

One tip from me: When reading any review, always do so in Instapaper. Your eyes will thank you.