Angular vs React: Which One to Choose for Your App

Harikrishna Kundariya
CEO & Founder at eSparkBiz Technologies

When talking about versatile front-end development frameworks, Angular and React are the most preferred JS Frameworks. However, sometimes, it can be confusing which among the two is the best framework to choose to develop mobile applications. In this blog post, we’ve given a side-by-side comparison of Angular vs ReactJS, to help you select the appropriate framework as per the requirement.

An Overview

ReactJS: ReactJS is an open-source and component-based front-end JavaScript library that was introduced by Facebook to create zestful and reusable user interfaces. JavaScript and a PHP extension, called JSX, are the main building blocks of ReactJS. The framework is an efficient, declarative, and flexible JavaScript library that helps developers build reusable UI components.

Features of ReactJS:

  • Easy & quick creation of dynamic applications
  • Improved performance by using Virtual DOM 
  • Reusable components
  • Unidirectional data flow
  • Small learning curve
  • Develop both web and mobile apps
  • Dedicated tools for easy debugging

Angular: Angular is a structural framework that is used to build dynamic web applications with the help of TypeScript and HTML. Its code is written in TypeScript. Angular also uses HTML as a template language so HTML's syntax can be extended to illustrate the web application's components clearly and concisely. Besides that, it is compatible with all types of server technologies.

Features of Angular:

  • Saves code writing time with MVC Architecture
  • Use of the Unit Testing technique
  • Efficient Data Binding
  • Needs less Code-writing
  • Developed by Google
  • Improved error-handling support

Angular vs React: FeaturedBase Comparison

The following criteria can help you decide which framework to choose - Angular or React:

Syntax

Angular programmers need to master the latest framework directives as well as the TypeScript syntax because Angular uses HTML templates. Being a JavaScript superset, TypeScript gets the liberty to expand its components with prototyping and can easily navigate the code and determine typos.

Some developers suggest using TypeScript in React; however, one should know that JavaScript in React can be combined with HTML/XML markup in the same catalog. Further, the combination of the two, called JSX, is a more coherent syntax compared to raw JS. So, if you know JavaScript well, you’ll be able to work faster with ReactJS.

Self-Sufficiency

The applications based on React need additional libraries, including Redux, React Router, or Helmet to optimize the routing process, state management, and API interaction.  Companies looking to hire React.JS programmers must check whether the developers have an understanding of these React libraries or not.

However, Angular is a full-fledged software development framework that does not need the inclusion of any library. Each function gets implemented through the Angular package. Thus, ReactJS is comparatively less self-sufficient.

UI Component

The UI components of ReactJS come into existence because of its developer community. You’ll find both types of UI components, i.e., paid and free in the React portal. 

However, Angular has an in-built Material tech-stack along with various pre-built components of material design. This is the reason that the UI configuration has become tremendously fast as well as simple in the Angular framework.

Toolset

ReactJS uses numerous code editing tools, such as:

  • Sublime Text
  • Atom
  • Visual Studio

To bootstrap a project, Create React App (CLI) tool in React is required; whereas to carry out the server-side rendering, the Next.JS framework is required. When it comes to testing the app developed through React, you’ll need many tools to test different elements.

Similar to ReactJS, Angular also utilizes different code editing tools, like:

  • Sublime Text
  • Aptana
  • Visual Studio

Angular CLI is used to set up the project, while Angular Universal is used to carry out the server-side rendering. However, the main difference between Angular and ReactJS technology is that there is only one tool required to do testing in Angular.

Learning Curve

It takes more time and effort to master Angular compared to React because Angular’s framework is dynamic: therefore, there are different techniques to solve any particular issue. Additionally, in order to enjoy the benefits of Angular, developers need to know pipes, templates, and dependency injections. Besides that, you also need to have an understanding of RxJS and Typescript to develop dynamic applications using Angular.

On the contrary, developers find it comparatively easy to learn ReactJS. As it does not include complicated features, React is convenient to work with when users already know JavaScript. Hence, for newcomers, ReactJS is ideal for building their first application.

Development Speed and Productivity

Angular provides an improved development experience. Courtesy of its CLI, Angular enables developers to develop a workspace and design functional applications quickly. Besides that, you can produce components and services just by writing single-line commands, and built-in processes in Angular can help solve comprehensive issues.

However, the development speed and productivity in the case of React depend on the third-party library of choice. Hence, developers need to figure out the appropriate architecture along with the tools.

Further, the requirement of the toolkit in ReactJS varies with each project. This also means that more time & effort is needed if a new developer has undertaken the project to update an existing app.

Flexibility and Freedom

Another aspect that helps in deciding between Angular vs React is flexibility.

When creating a web application through the ReactJS framework, you will get the liberty to choose the following:

  • Libraries
  • Tools
  • Architecture

Besides, React also lets you develop a highly tailored application using just its own features.

On the contrary, Angular comes with limited freedom & flexibility. The use of Angular components can be done only within other frameworks, and the codes need to be incorporated within an HTML application. This limitation does not help in developing real-time-based applications. Besides, every component of Angular has a lifecycle that is known as Angular lifecycle.

Thus, ReactJS provides more liberty and flexibility compared to Angular.

Data Binding

ReactJS uses one-way data binding, which means the UI elements cannot change a component’s state. Moreover, developers cannot make changes in the UI elements if they do not update the associated model state. The one-way binding in ReactJS results in the development of a stable code-based application.

On the other hand, an Angular framework uses the two-way binding approach. This means that by changing the UI input, the model state can be altered and vice versa. Although the approach of Angular seems convenient and effective, React delivers a better and streamlined data overview when it comes to bulk app development projects. Hence, React has the upper hand.

Ease of Update

An enhanced CLI is incorporated in the Angular framework that includes commands such as a ng_update. This is the reason it becomes possible to conveniently update the application to the advanced version of Angular. Besides, it makes the app development process easier, since Angular also has an automated update process.

In the same way, ReactJS also comes with the feature of making seamless transitions among different versions. Overall, however, the transitions in ReactJS are smoother and easier than Angular.

Angular vs React: which one to choose and when?

When it comes to choosing an appropriate framework or library, it becomes difficult to pick one - say, for e.g. Angular vs React - because each one has its peculiarities.

In the end, deciding on one between Angular and React usually depends on personal preference. This is because both the JS frameworks can solve the same problem but with different approaches. 

Let’s summarise the decision points though:

Choosing Angular framework

The Angular framework is the best platform to develop a dynamic app in the case of the below-mentioned scenarios:

  • You want to optimize your productivity by using already-prepared software.
  • You want rich features and a large-scale framework.
  • The development team has experience in working with C#, Java, and old Angular versions.
  • You want to keep your app’s difficulty level quite low.

There are comparatively more in-built functions.

Choosing React framework

The React framework is the best platform to develop a dynamic app in the case of the below-mentioned scenario:

  • You want to develop a multi-event application.
  • The development team has experience in CSS, HTML, and JavaScript.
  • You need a customized application development approach.
  • You want to create shareable components for the web application.
  • ReactJS has a convenient learning curve, which directs a quick development process.

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