Uncategorized Dec, 2021
Angular vs React - Which one is better for your app?
“Angular vs React”, “React vs Angular”.
You have probably already come across a bunch of articles and blogs on this exact topic that is more or fewer copies of each other.
They all force titles and subtitles that include these words as if it’s a clash of titans and only one side needs to be chosen.
These texts are full of professional terms that only people in the industry can understand. They do not take into account that these terms are unknown to a good part of visitors and readers who would love to know a little more about it.
We will do our best to explain to you in the simplest possible way the specifications and general characteristics of both of these frameworks. Let's start with the introduction.
What exactly is the framework?
Nowadays there is a large selection of technologies and frameworks that can be used in the development process.
Every software developer has some personal preferences regarding the use of frameworks, but in the end, it comes down to the job being done according to the wishes of the clients.
But you must be wondering, what is a framework?
Simply said, a framework is a platform for developing software applications. This is the basis through which software developers reach their ultimate goal.
Some frameworks are used for the front-end, some for the back-end. For clients, what is done in the front-end is often more important because, after all, that is what they can see with their own eyes.
One of the most commonly used front-end frameworks for developing web and mobile applications are Angular and React. They are the most popular after all.
They are most commonly used as front-end part of the so called ''headless CMS''.
Clients often have a dilemma about which one should their development team choose.
So which one should they choose?
There is no universal answer to which is better but the essence is to choose the one whose specifications are closest to the needs of the project. We won’t tell you which one to choose but we can give you enough information to come up with that answer yourself.
What is Angular?
Angular is an open-source framework.
We will explain later what characteristics Angular has and we will show you the work developers did using Angular all over the globe.
But first a word or two about Angular's beginnings.
Angular was launched in 2016, officially as Angular 2.0 and it is an upgraded and updated version of AngularJs which was introduced in 2010.
What is React?
Facebook takes care of its management together with the open-source community of developers.
React was introduced in May 2013 by the name ReactJS. It did not have a predecessor, but a large number of other frameworks can be used with it.
Since 2013 there have been 17 versions of React. The latest version (version 17.0.2) was released on March 22, 2021.
We will now compare Angular and React through several essential characteristics and decide who takes a win in each one of them.
Angular vs React - General characteristics
We will now talk about the most important aspects for frameworks and what are the features of Angular and React through these aspects. For each segment we will decide the winner and finally give an overall opinion.
So let’s start from the most practical aspect.
Both Angular and React are used in web development and mobile development.
And what they both have in common is that the mobile development part cannot be done with them alone, but a specific framework for mobile development has to be incorporated.
For Angular that’s Ionic and NativeScript and for React that’s Cordova and React Native. Angular and React both can be used for building single-page and multiple-page web apps.
It’s a tie.
2. Time required to learn Angular or React
In short, we would say that Angular is complex and React is simple. This means that the former is much harder to learn than the latter.
React is very minimalistic. It has no templates, no complicated features and it doesn’t support dependency injection. That means that with React your apps will have less flexibility and modularity but it also means it’s a lot easier to learn.
On the other hand, Angular supports dependency injection which gives it the edge over React in terms of functionality but it also makes it harder to learn. Angular has some complex features which a developer needs to learn if he wants to use this framework.
3. Popularity and Usage
Another Angular vs React battle. This time it’s about community and support.
Angular is now managed by Google which gives it credibility, but because of its predecessor, AngularJS, it does not enjoy the full trust of developers. It is generally thought that it is very complicated and that it takes a lot of time to learn.
Angular has very good support because of Google and they are constantly working on improvements.
We will mention couple of companies that use Angular:
- Microsoft (Microsoft Office package)
The list goes on and on so we won’t bother you with this anymore.
React is a favorite of the majority. Although it is managed by Facebook, the developer community itself has a big share in that.
React probably has one of the biggest communities in the world. They are constantly working on its improvement and updates so a person who uses React needs to be a continuous learner.
And now a list of those who used React for their projects:
- The New York Times
- and Microsoft as well.
This list can go on indefinitely, but we will not talk about it anymore, but instead we will announce the winner of this round.
4. User Interface components
In order to use material design components in React, there are some preconditions that must be met. Additional library called Material-UI Library & Dependencies must be installed.
Angular has built-in material design components. Because of this, User interface configuration is simple and a lot faster. With React, it’s a lot easier. There’s a clear winner in this Angular vs React battle.
5. Data binding
Data binding serves to synchronize Model/View architecture. Once React is combined with Redux it allows the user to work with unchangeable data and the data flow goes in one direction.
Angular on the other hand has bidirectional data binding and changeable data.
There is a great deal of debate about whether it is better to work with mutable or immutable data but one thing is for sure - bidirectional data binding is a better choice to work with.
Unidirectional data binding is better for finding bugs, unlike bidirectional one, which is reflected in the performance. But overall, the bidirectional approach is better.
We gave a hint in the previous paragraph about who will be better when it comes to performance.
Angular has trouble performing when it comes to complicated and dynamic web apps because of its bidirectional data binding.
To say it simply, with every binding there’s a watcher who needs to track changes. This means that the more bindings there are, the more watchers there will be and the very process becomes burdensome.
With React, it’s a lot easier. There’s no watchers assigned to every binding so there’s no additional workload.
Both frameworks can use a large number of code editors and tools. Prefered code editors for React are Sublime Text, Visual Studio, Atom and a CLI tool named Create React App.
For Angular more or less the same code editors are used. Those are Visual Studio, Sublime Text and Aptana. The tool that helps using, developing and maintaining Angular based apps is called Angular CLI.
The difference between Angular and React can be seen when testing the complete application.
React needs multiple tools for testing while Angular needs only one.
Here we can say that they are quite similar and that it comes down to the personal preferences of the developers which one would be chosen.
It’s a tie.
We can continue with another million things in which somewhere the winner will be Angular and somewhere React but there’s no point in that.
The bottom line is that you can already see that both Angular and React have some advantages and disadvantages.
So, who is the ultimate winner?
It is not possible to say with certainty who is the winner of this "Angular vs React" battle.
Both frameworks have their strengths and weaknesses, what they are better at and what they are worse at than the other side.
Angular is a full-fledged web and mobile development framework. React can become one with the help of additional libraries.
Although React is easy to use, you still need to learn to use additional tools and frameworks.
On the other hand, Angular requires much more time to learn but once mastered there is no need to learn additional stuff.
It cannot be said that there is a clear winner because both frameworks are constantly being updated to be better than the competition.
In the end, the winner of the Angular vs React battle is the framework that best suits the requirements of the clients or the personal preferences of the developers.
Not sure which one to choose for your project?
If you have a project that requires web or mobile development and you are still not sure which of these two frameworks is better, feel free to contact Code Bears.
We have specialists for both React and Angular, so our experts will offer you a unique solution for your project.
You can also contact us for any software development services and we will be more than happy to answer.
Special thanks to Shomy (Miloš Nedeljkovic, a hardcore React fan) who helped a lot in writing this article but claimed that there is only one winner.
Nevertheless, he remained objective and pointed out the key shortcomings and strengths of both frameworks, thus enabling a text that can actually help people.