Angular vs React: Which Front End Web Framework to Pick in 2021?

by Jigar Mistry
Angular vs React - Choosing The Best Front-end Framework

As technology roars exponentially, so does web development.  The adoptions for front-end development frameworks and libraries have become tremendously competitive.  From all the available JavaScript frameworks and libraries, React and Angular are the ones that are the most prevalent amongst the developers, and due to this, most of the people search for Angular vs React.

But how to select the best between the two?  Should you consider the project requirements to form a precise decision?  Or should you take into consideration its popularity and development time in an initial stage?  There have been loads of discussions on Angular vs React.  Let’s examine the difference between Angular and React that will help you to choose the best technology for your next or prevailing project.

A Brief

ReactJS was developed by Facebook as a front-end JavaScript library for developing user interfaces.  React utilizes a declarative style of programming to define the UI state.  Whereas, Angular is a front-end development framework led by Google.  It is a fragment of MEAN stack and is attuned with a great number of code editors.  It is mostly considered for making dynamic web sites and apps.

Angular: At A Glance

Angular, usually denoted as Angular 2+ or Angular v2 and above, is an open-source, Typescript-based web app framework managed by the Angular Team at Google and by a community of corporations and individuals.  Angular is a thorough rewrite from the same team that developed AngularJS.

Angular is an all-inclusive term that is employed for all the versions which got released after Angular 1, comprising versions from Angular 2 to Angular 10.  Furthermore, Angular is based on Typescript – the superset of ECMAScript 6 (ES6) with lambda operators, reflection’s mechanism, or iterators, while AngularJS is completely based on JavaScript.

Angular is a framework and platform for developing single-page client apps utilizing Typescript and HTML elements.  The Angular framework is transcribed in TypeScript.  It exercises optional and core functionality as a set of Typescript libraries that you might import into your applications.  Released on June 24, 2020, here is a glimpse of features of the newest version, Angular 10:

  • Warnings about commonJS imports
  • New date range picker (material UI library)
  • Keeping up to date with ecosystem
  • Optional stricter arrangements
  • Removals and deprecations  
  • Novel default browser configuration

A vital part of the JavaScript frameworks, Angular is the most well-known front end development tool to date.  Each version of Angular is feature-rich and has been advancing with smarter aspects.  Let’s take a look at the features of this extensively accepted front end framework:

  • It has Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture and the app data is administered by model and view manages data display.  While the controller acts as a connector between the model and view layers.
  • Usually, in an MVC pattern, you can divide the app consequently and write code to associate the same.  Nevertheless, in Angular; the developers require to split up the app into MVC patterns and it does the rest on its own.  This saves a substantial amount of coding time.
  • The most operational Angular trait is the two-way data binding system.  The view layer precisely represents the model layer and it stays in impeccable synchronization.  If you do any alteration in the model, the users can have a look at the view model mechanically.  Hence, it reduces the essential development time.
  • Angular is a low code framework as compared to the rest of the front end technologies.  You do not need to transcribe separate code to connect MVC layers.  And you do not require precise code to view physically also.  In addition to this, the directives are secluded from the application code.  These all together mechanically diminish the development time.
  • Directives are the most stimulating Angular characteristics.  You can form custom HTML tags aiding as custom widgets with the assistance of directives.  Developers can utilize these to decorate behavior-driven Angular components.  You can also operate DOM attributes as per the requirements with the aid of directives.
  • The inbuilt dependency injection of Angular makes the development of applications easier for the developers.  It asks your dependencies.  Just request it ‘I need y’, and it furnishes the same and sends it to you.

React: At A Glance

React, also termed as ReactJS or React.js, is a front end and open-source framework used for developing user interfaces or user interface components.  React is a JavaScript framework managed by Facebook and a group of companies and individual developers.  React can be utilized as a base in single-page and mobile app development.

Nevertheless, React is concerned with sending data to Document Object Model (DOM), and so generating React apps ordinarily requires the usage of supplementary libraries for routing and state management.  React Router and Redux are examples of these libraries

React makes it simpler to form dynamic web apps because it needs less coding and presents more functionality, as divergent to JavaScript, where coding regularly gets difficult very rapidly.  React employs virtual DOM, thus making web applications faster than Angular apps .  This DOM compares the React components preceding states and updates the items in real DOM that were altered, instead of apprising all of the components over again, as other conventional web apps do.

The building blocks of any React application are components, and a single application typically contains manifold components.  These components have their controls and business logic and can be reutilized during the course of the application, which in turn intensely lessens the application development time.

React observes a unidirectional data flow which means that when forming a React app, its developers frequently nest child components within parent components.  Since the data flows in a single way, it becomes simpler to debug errors and know where the issue occurs in an app.

Presently, ReactJS is gaining popularity as the best JavaScript framework amongst web developers.  It is having a critical role in the front-end environment.  The significant features of React JS are as follows:

  • React is all about components. Its application is made up of several components, and every component has its own controls and logic. Such components can be reusable which will aid you to uphold the code while working on a larger scale React project.
  • JSX denotes JavaScript XML and it is a JavaScript syntax extension.  It is HTML or an XML like syntax utilized by React.  The syntax is managed into JavaScript calls of React framework.  It extends ES6 so that HTML like text can also co-exist with JavaScript code.  It is not essential to utilize JSX, but it is suggested to use it in React.
  • React uses JSX files which makes the app easy to code as well as understand.  We understand that React is a component-based tactic that makes the code reusable as per your requirement.  Hence, this makes it simple to learn and use.
  • A virtual DOM object is a depiction of the original DOM object.  It functions as a one-way data binding.  When any modifications occur in a web app, the whole UI development is re-rendered in a DOM depiction.  Then it verifies the difference between the preceding DOM representation and the new DOM.  Once this is done, the actual DOM will apprise only the things that have altered.  This makes the application quicker, and there is no time wastage.
  • React is intended in such a way that monitors one-way data binding or the unidirectional data flow.  The advantages of this kind of binding render you better control through the app.  If the data changes flow in different directions, then it necessitates additional traits.  It is so because the components are supposed to be unchallengeable and the data within them cannot be altered.  Flux is a design that aids to keep your data unidirectional.  This makes the app more flexible that leads to increased efficiency.

Angular vs React: Technology Side

Angular vs React: Technology Side

Understanding the concept of Angular and React, now let’s compare Angular.js vs React JS from the technology aspect.

  1. Ease of Update

    Here, we would be observing the up-gradation procedure of React versus Angular.  Before selecting the framework, we have to ensure that it permits the addition of fresher components into the project.  Opting for an ideal framework is critical for the effective completion of a JavaScript project.  We would be equating the migration method and time that is spent for the smooth migration from the older version to the newest one.

    Angular has one major update every six months and delivers a depreciation time of six months for each release.  The update procedure is easy, and the complete framework comes with discrete bundled contributions.

    Scripts that use React can be easily moved from older to newer API.  The APIs are fairly stable, as we see in the interface of Facebook.  The migration is quite easy and updates are smooth as contrary to Angular.  The main releases are independent and stable, but they present speedy libraries.

  2. Performance

    Performance is the most significant measure while conversing with the differences between React and Angular.  DOM is utilized for the assessment of the execution of each of the frameworks.  DOM is a programming interface that systematizes the XHTML HTML, and XML documents in the form of a tree.  The tree then permits the scripts to interrelate with each other vigorously.

    Angular uses real DOM for its apps.  For single-pages that get rationalized sometimes, real DOM is impeccable.  Also, the extent of the library is enormous, which creates the apps utilizing Angular sluggish.  For instance, UpWork is one of the most prevalent apps that is using Angular, as the necessity for regular updates of users’ feed is low.

    React utilizes a virtual DOM and is perfectly suitable for pages that require frequent content updates.  The scope of the library is trivial, which makes it more dynamic and lightweight.  For instance, Instagram utilizes React as it requires the user feed to update recurrently.

  3. Performance and Flexibility

    There is a significant difference between React and Angular in terms of the flexibility offered.  React offers the developers numerous libraries, tools, and varying patterns to opt from.  A skillful React team can opt for the tools they require at the commencement and present an extremely customized app.

    Angular does not offer the flexibility that React JS does.  Angular elements can be utilized only within other frameworks, and codes have to be rooted within an HTML app.  This rigidness does not assist apps that need real-time updates to be noticeable.  Furthermore, the most stimulating thing that you will observe in Angular is that each component has a lifecycle, known as the Angular lifecycle.

  4. Virtual DOM vs Regular DOM

    DOM is an imperative metric in the performance assessment of each of the frameworks.  As we have seen earlier, DOM systematizes the XML and HTML documents in the form of a tree.  In Angular applications, a real DOM is utilized, which means the complete tree structure is restored when a single alteration is made.  This makes the procedure slower.

    Though, React uses a Virtual DOM, which permits the developers to make alterations to the tree without the requirement to update the complete tree.

  5. Data Binding

    The Angular framework utilizes a two-way binding method that alters the model state mechanically when any modification is made in the UI elements and vice versa.  The React library employs a one-way method. This method permits the modification in UI elements only after alteration is made in the model state.  The two-way method seems to be simpler, but React’s one-way method is more active for the projects with huge amounts of coding.

  6. Developer’s Perspective

    Angular is simple to step up but it takes time to convey projects since it has a precipitous learning curve and utilizes a lot of needless syntax for the simplest aspects.  Hence, it increases the coding time and delays the project deliveries.

    React, generally, takes a longer time to set up than Angular but permits you to form projects and develop applications relatively rapidly.  Furthermore, you can add new features to React through dissimilar libraries.  It also has a deficiency of controller and model components, unlike Angular.

  7. UI Component

    Another distinguishing point in Angular vs React is the UI component library.  The UI tools of React are formed by its community.  There are numerous free and paid UI components in the React portal.  Whereas, Angular comes with an inbuilt Material tech stack and comprises countless pre-built material design components.  Owing to this, the UI configuration becomes exceptionally simple and fast.

  8. Self-Sufficiency

    The applications that are written in React need the inclusion of additional libraries. Some of these libraries are – Redux, React Router, or Helmet that is utilized for optimizing the procedure of state management, routing, and interacting with API. 

    Between Angular and React, Angular is a full grown software development framework that does not require any inclusion of the library. Every task is realized with the assistance of the Angular package.

  9. Toolset

    React makes the employment of manifold code editors namely Atom, Sublime Text, and Visual Studio.  It utilizes the Create React App (CLI) tool for bootstrapping, while server side rendering is performed with the Next.js framework.  The  unit testing of an app that is written in React, calls for several tools for dissimilar elements. 

    Angular also employs diverse code editing tools namely Aptana, Visual Studio, and Sublime Text.  The scheme is arranged by utilizing Angular CLI, while server side rendering is performed through Angular Universal. 

    But the major point of difference between React and Angular is that the latter can be tested entirely with only a single tool.  It can be either Jasmine, Karma, or Protractor.  This one of the remarkable Angular benefits over React.


Difference Between Angular and React

Although both the frameworks utilize component-based patterns and hence, share many resemblances, they also vary in various ways.  Let’s take a closer look at React vs Angular.

AspectAngularReact
Type The full-fledged framework presents a strong opinion on how your app must be organized and has numerous small libraries inbuilt that aids you develop complex apps. It is a library and cares only about View on MVC pattern. It needs Flux to device this architecture but renders you more freedom the way you need to form the code.
Language Typescript – a superset of JavaScript and statically entered language. JavaScript XML (JSX) – can be transcribed in Typescript, though not natively.
Data binding It has a two-way data binding which means that if we alter the input in the UI it will modify the model state and vice versa. It has one-way data binding which means that a UI element cannot alter the state of the component.
DOM Incremental DOM – when forming a new DOM it will associate with the previous one and apply the differences to the ‘real’ DOM, only assigning the memory if essential. Virtual DOM – whenever the DOM alters it will form a new virtual DOM, compared with the previous one and only alter the ‘real’ DOM where it varies.
Testing Jasmine and Mocha. Jest and Enzyme.
Usage You must utilize Typescript. You can utilize JavaScript, and ES6/7, though you can employ Flow or Typescript if you so choose.
Scalability Easy to scale. Easy to scale and more testable.
Popularity Its popularity has dropped since AngularJS. Its popularity has increased exponentially.
Employed by It is employed by Forbes, Nike, Google, Upwork, HBO, General Motors, and Sony. It is employed by Airbnb, Facebook, Netflix, Uber, Instagram, Dropbox, and Whatsapp.
Learning curve The learning curve is higher, but once you comprehend it, you have a complete MVC framework. The learning curve is comparatively lower, but you only get the view. Due to this, you are going to have to learn a bundle of third party libraries.
Size It is larger in size, resulting in extended load times and performance on mobile. It is smaller in size than Angular, so it is a bit faster.

React vs Angular: How to Decide Which One is Best?

React or Angular?  Which is the best one to employ for attaining a robust development?  To answer this, let’s view their compatibility with various development projects.

React vs Angular - How to Decide Which One is Best?

React is utilized to build cross-platform and single-page applications with much ease.  They can be utilized to prolong an application’s present competences.  It has always made it potential for the React developers to make lightweight applications that have contemporary capabilities in a short span of time.  React presents a plethora of benefits, out of which, one of them is the accessibility of tools that can be utilized to personalize your web page easily.

React is well-suited for your development project when:

  • You require an extremely customized precise app solution.
  • Your development team has proficiency in CSS, HTML, and JavaScript.
  • You wish to devote time to pre-development preparation.
  • Components are estimated to be shared across manifold applications as the app scheme enlarges.
  • An innumerable of components with diverse and frequently variable states – dynamic inputs, active or inactive navigation items, buttons enabled or disabled, and user login and access permissions are involved in the product development procedure.

You may choose  Angular framework when building a large-scale app that is full of numerous features.  It renders you a scalable and reliable framework.  The utilization of the Angular framework makes the development of real-time message applications easy.  Also, the teams that are well-versed in Typescript find Angular easier to employ.

The Angular framework is a good choice for your development project when:

  • Application difficulty lies from low to medium level.
  • Your team has development experience with C#, Java, and earlier versions of Angular.
  • You hold ready-to-use resolutions and require higher productivity.
  • You require a large-scale and feature-rich app.
  • You desire to embrace bundle budgets in the Angular CLI option, which notifies its developers when the application bundle size surpasses by pre-decided value.  In other sense, choosing Angular is the correct decision when you need to regulate application size.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is React more popular than Angular?

React has a varied and effervescent environment that offers developers the flexibility to produce the applications. This surely makes it more popular than the Angular framework.

What is the difference between Angular and React?

From Angular vs React, we can ascertain several differences. For instance, React functions with one-way data binding, while Angular runs utilizing two-way data binding. Similarly, Angular utilizes real DOM, whereas React depends upon the virtual DOM.

Is React the best framework?

The answer to this question relies completely upon what your app requirements are. That states that React is an apt framework to employ when you want to create an extremely customized app exercising variable states – active or inactive navigation items, buttons enabled or disabled, dynamic inputs, a user log in, and access permissions.

What is more popular: Angular or React?

It is difficult to say or select between React and Angular. Talking about React, it has more searches, whereas, Angular is extremely considered by the developers due to the obtainability of ready-made solutions – stating that both the technologies are popular in the market.

Is Angular dying because of React?

Angular is not dying in terms of popularity instead the consideration has just been averted. Although React might be taking up more of the demand and development environment, Angular is still being steady regardless of the rising fame of React.


Conclusion

Amongst so many frameworks to opt from, each one has its own uniqueness, and deciding to employ the right framework may seem a tough task.  From Angular vs React, we can gauge that the developers who have knowledge of statically typed languages usually prefer the Angular framework, as Typescript permits you to have an explicit type in your code.  Whereas, React delivers a better mobile cross-platform framework answer than Angular.

However, it is vital to consider that React is easy to learn, which leads to faster development, while Angular has more inbuilt functionalities.  Both technologies are very influential in enhancing and speeding up the development process.  Contact Monocubed, if you require a boost in developing your web or mobile application with one of these technologies.

Author Bio

Jigar Mistry

Jigar Mistry

Jigar Mistry is the Founder of Monocubed and is the main curator and writer of the content found on this site. He has 14+ years of experience in the information technology industry. He always believes in quality, in terms of code and application.