Tiny Tiny RSS: DIY Android Google Reader Replacement

Tiny Tiny RSS: Google Reader Replacement for the Linux Knowledgeable

I am still lamenting the decision Google made to kill off Google Reader.  While I am generally ok with Feedly, I am actually in the same boat I was with Google Reader when I use another service like Feedly.  If Feedly goes away, then I am stuck yet again.  So I began searching for other alternatives and had a friend suggest something called Tiny Tiny RSS.

Tiny Tiny RSS has all of the features Google Reader has and more.

Tiny Tiny RSS Web Interface

Tiny Tiny RSS: Google Reader Replacement for the Linux Knowledgeable

The web interface looks a lot like Google Reader.  It lets me star things for later, and with the help of some plugins to TTRSS (Abbreviated, so I don’t have to type it out every time!), I can also share articles to Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Google+.  TTRSS is written using a lot of the same programs WordPress uses, including Apache, PHP and MySQL.

The Tiny Tiny RSS Android App

Tiny Tiny RSS: Google Reader Replacement for the Linux Knowledgeable

There is an Android app that you can sync up to the web-based version on the server.  It has all the features of the web app, but they are scaled down for the mobile interface.  The Tiny Tiny RSS app also scales up to Android tablets as well; Tiny Tiny RSS  is free for 7 days and can be unlocked for $1.99.

Tiny Tiny RSS: Google Reader Replacement for the Linux Knowledgeable

Can I get my Google Reader feeds into Tiny Tiny RSS?

Tiny Tiny RSS: Google Reader Replacement for the Linux Knowledgeable

Yes!  All you have to do is get the subscriptions.xml file in the Zip file that Google Takeout provides and import it on the Feeds tab, OPML option in preferences on your TTRSS site.  The above screenshot is what it looked like for me.  When I did this it imported all of my feeds with zero issues.  It even maintained the folders I set up in Google Reader.

Tiny Tiny RSS: Good News / Bad News

The bad news here, is that if you aren’t a server geek or programmer then setting this up on your own may not be easily done. However, if you know a Linux geek, then you can bet he or she is probably already looking into it and may even have it set up already.  If you know that Linux geek really well, then maybe he or she can set you up with an account!  😉

Honestly though, if you have ever set up a blog with WordPress on a host, then you can likely do the install on this yourself.  My hope is that for non-technical users some hosting providers will start offering Tiny Tiny RSS as an option.  I had the whole thing up and running on a server in about 30 minutes, and that was with all of the prereqs installed ahead of time.  Lifehacker has a great article on setting this up; so if you want to try it, then I would start there if you are new to this kind of thing.

The really good part of this is now you are not beholden to Google, Feedly, or anyone else but yourself (or your helpful Linux geek) if you choose to set this up.  Tiny Tiny RSS is Open Source software, which means if it doesn’t do something you want you can change if you know how; that’s always a good thing in my book.

MSRP: Free as it’s open source but there may be a cost for hosting if you choose to host it.

What I Like: Does all Google Reader does and more; Not dependent on any service other than ones you pay for

What Needs Improvement: For me?  Nothing.  For non-technical users, I hope someone takes this and starts a service, as  It’s really useful; No iOS client

Categories: How to Do It Yourself!

Tags: , ,

10 replies

  1. Strangely so do I! Not for myself, but for my friends who might need it.

  2. Cool, Joel – thanks for sharing this! Will definitely have to check it out!

    • It’s not that hard to set it up. If you can follow the WordPress 5 minute install then you should be able to do the same with this. It’s actually easier as all it asks is the database name, the username/password and a couple other questions. No need to hack a config file. The hardest part when configuring it as home is setting it up so you can get to it from the outside.

      Like I said in the post…I HOPE someone sets up a business for this or at least make it a one click install like I’ve seen with WordPress and others.

  3. I’ve installed this and tried it for a week. I think it’s good but not great yet. I’ve gone back to feedly but I think it’ll soon be good enough for everyday use.

    • What didn’t it do for you Corinne? I can’t find anything I don’t like about it. I like it mostly because it’s pretty lightweight. I bet you could run this on a Raspberry Pi.

      • It could be my server, but it loaded slowly for me. I also wasn’t able to get the refreshes to work right on my phone (probably my fault).

        For what it is, it’s very good and certainly worth the time if you want to give it. If you’re not patient (like me) then something else might be better.

  4. Nice post. I had never heard of this before. I do wish there was an ios app, but I’ll have to try it out with a web interface.

    I’ve actually been using Reeder on both the iPad and my Mac, syncing with google reader, rather than using reader itself. (Perhaps it’s people like me that made Google decide to drop Reader…). My main concern about tiny tiny rss is that a lot of my rss workflow from reader is due to interaction with ifttt.com – starring items adds them to pocket to read later, for example. So, the thing that I replace reader with when it goes away I’d prefer to have an interface to ifttt.com. Perhaps I’m hoping too much…

    Btw, I’m not a big fan of feedly, at all. It’s nowhere near as good as reader is/was.