Angular vs. React JS – Which is Better & Why?

Angular vs react JS is a never-ending debate that has been confusing entrepreneurs and organizations for a long time. Both front-end JS are well known for their flexibility in developing applications but it is necessary to know the differences between them before committing to one or the other.

In this blog, Techosquare will document the difference between React JS and Angular JS, helping you pick the best framework for your upcoming venture. Before discussing the key differences between Angular JS vs React JS, let’s understand how they are different from each other.

Angular vs React JS: Quick Introduction

Angular is an open-sourced JavaScript framework for web and mobile development. This typescript based framework is maintained by Google. It was initially introduced as angular JS in 2010 which was versioned as 1.x.

Later in 2016, it was completely re-written in version 2.0 and renamed as Angular removing “js” from the v1.x named Angular JS.

On the other hand, React is an open-sourced library developed & maintained by Facebook. Being used in Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, and lots of other dynamic products. React is also used for web front end development as well as mobile application development.

Framework vs Library

Angular JS is an open-source front end web framework extensively used for developing single-page desktop and mobile web applications. It was developed with the goal of making both the development and testing of apps simple. AngularJS is a complete package with 2-way data binding bundled in by default.

React JS is another JavaScript library used for managing the view layer for web and mobile applications. It also allows us to design reusable UI components for desktop & mobile web apps. ReactJS has a unidirectional data flow.

React JS is another JavaScript library used for managing the view layer for web and mobile applications. It also allows us to design reusable UI components for desktop & mobile web apps. ReactJS has a unidirectional data flow.

Backward Compatibility

The most stable version of Angular is Angular 6 at the time of writing which is backward compatible till Angular 2 which means if your app is developed on Angular 2 or above, you can upgrade to the latest version and get the benefits of the new features available. But as Angular 2 was complete recode over angular 1 (also known as AngularJS), any app using AngularJS 1.x version cannot be upgraded easily to later versions. AngularJS and Angular are completely different methodologies and should be considered as different projects.

ReactJS, on the other hand, has always been more backward compatible. Even its latest version, known as React 16 (at the time of writing) is completely compatible with previous ones with very minor breaking points which are very easily manageable. Hence for backward compatibility, ReactJS takes a lead.

Additional reading: Looking at the huge demand of MEAN stack and LAMP stack, we did a full comparison between the two software. Check out our post on MEAN stack vs LAMP stack to learn which one makes more sense for web app development.

Data Binding

For those who don’t know what data binding is, it’s a process known for establishing a connection between the application UI and the data given by the provider & consumer. AngularJS uses two-way data binding which simply means when a user interacts with the given field, a new value is provided to the application and vice-versa. It updates both the view and model at the same time.

ReactsJS is known to hold up one way-binding which means it provides singular behavior to your web or mobile application. Their idea is to have a single source of information. It not just gets separated from the classes but also minimizes the risk of errors & controls the complexity.

Development Speed and Productivity

Development speed and productivity are two of the most important aspects of an application development framework. In general, both the tools are very good and it depends on how proficient you are with one tool or the other.

Angular offers programmers a promising development experience. Being a complete framework, it provides all the requirements under one roof and you feel bound to use their way sometimes here and there.

ReactJS, on the other hand, is only a library to develop UI components and then supports a lot of extensions to meet other needs. So, while you have the flexibility to use different plugins for different needs, it is time-consuming to select the correct tool to meet your requirements. It also brings a risk of compatibility issues between different extensions and their versions.

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Ease of learning

Even though Google’s AngularJS provides multiple methods to solve a particular problem, its complex component management system and demanding familiarity with various concepts & languages such as templates, pipes and RxJS make it difficult to understand this front-end framework initially. Or it can be said Angular is a steep learning curve. But once you are familiar with it, it's fun to work with.

Learning the React library, on the other hand, is easier when compared to AngularJS. It provides several useful resources that make it easy to understand for beginners looking forward to developing a web application for desktops as well as mobile devices.

Ease of Update

Another factor that is widely discussed in AngularJS vs ReactJS debate is the ease of update. Updating applications using Angular is super-easy. Being a complete framework in itself, everything is updated at the same time without much risk of compatibility.

As in most of the cases, you would have used different external libraries/extensions with ReactJS, updating is tricky and risky sometimes. ReactJS in itself has a record of almost 99.9 percent backward compatibility to date, but the extensions may or may not.

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Mobile Application Development

Our Angular vs React JS discussion will be incomplete without discussing both from the angle of mobile application development. This industry has gained huge popularity because of the rapidly increasing usage of smartphones. React has a part known as React Native for mobile app development. The final product developed with React Native is a native code in Kotlin for Android and Swift for iOS. All your app requirements are not met from React Native itself but the output can be imported in XCode or Android Studio for further development. But in any case, the output is a native app which is very good for quality and User experience.

Mobile applications developed using Angular allows you to use standard web technologies such as HTML5 and CSS3. This is the reason why Angular applications lag far behind in terms of User Experience.

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Initially, Angular was way more popular as compared to React but 2016 onwards, Angular lost some popularity and React gained a lot and afterward React has been significantly more popular as compared to Angular.

Angular JS vs ReactJS - Which one is better?

There is no better or worse framework. Both are continuously being developed and catching up with each other. Based on your requirements, one may be more favorable than the other for your project.

We recommend consulting senior developers at Techosquare before making the final decision!

We have settled the AngularJS vs. ReactJS battle, once and for all. The above points will help you choose the best framework according to your unique project requirements.

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