Tools: RSS

I read a lot of RSS feeds. Generally, I read a mishmash of android, comics, cooking, gaming, linux, news, tech. And I like read them in a lot of different ways. I read webapps, terminal apps, and Android apps. When Google Reader closed down, I needed to find another way to sync and read all my feeds on all my devices. Finally, I think I’ve figured out my system.


Without going too much into detail about how to install and set it up (since that’s been covered already in many many places), I’m just going to say that I use Tiny Tiny RSS. It’s a self-hosted RSS aggregator with a webapp and an API. Since I use TTRSS, I try to find apps that are compatible with it. However, many apps I’ve found are also compatible with other backends, given the chaos of RSS readers that Google Reader left in its wake. I’ve also tried The Old Reader and InoReader, and I liked both and found apps for both, but I couldn’t pass up trying to self-host my own RSS reader.


Visually and functionally, TTRSS’s webapp is structured similarly to most other RSS readers. It has themes; the one I use is Chalk. Further, it’s also highly customizable. Also, since it’s a webapp, I don’t need to install software to access it; I can open it in my browser from any of my non-mobile machines.



As I’ve mentioned before, I like newsbeuter. It worked great with Google Reader, and it works great with plain RSS feeds, but what many didn’t know is that it also works great with Tiny Tiny RSS. Configuration is extensive but easy. Give it your TTRSS info and it auto-populates all your feeds. It is a smidge slower with TTRSS than with Reader, but not terribly so.



I find it rather unlikely that any Android user hasn’t heard of Press at this point. It now supports Fever, another self-hosted RSS reader. I personally like the clean and simple interface, though it can seem rather sparse to some. A TTRSS plugin for Fever API support makes reading TTRSS from Press possible, and it works perfectly. Press also supports Feedly, Feedbin, and Feed Wrangler.

Screenshot_2013-09-06-18-53-33 Screenshot_2013-09-06-18-53-39Screenshot_2013-09-06-19-07-32


Another RSS app that most RSS-reading Android fans will recognize is gReader. While gReader supports Feedly and The Old Reader, the author of gReader has made other backends possible. He currently has another app, News+, in Google Play’s beta channels. The app takes plugins for various backends, including TTRSS, InoReader, Bazqux, and NewsBlur. It’s significantly flashier and more customizable than Press, and I find myself bouncing around between the two. With a TTRSS API plugin, News+ works wonderfully with TTRSS as well.

Screenshot_2013-09-06-19-05-56 Screenshot_2013-09-06-19-06-02 Screenshot_2013-09-06-19-06-07

In conclusion, it looks like the closing of Google Reader was actually a good thing. Other choices have proliferated, apps have started supporting multiple backends, and anyone can set up their own RSS system to their own specifications.

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