Choosing an ideal web framework is the primary factor that decides the success of a web development project. Whether you’re running a small business or a big enterprise, choosing one of your project’s suitable web development frameworks is critical. 

With this blog post, we’ll give you an insight into the two most popular front-end web development technologies, Angular vs React, which come with different technicalities and philosophies. With this post, you will get an answer to the questions, is Angular better than React, or is it a matter of personal preference?

Let’s get started!

Table of contents:

  • Difference between Angular and React
  • An Overall Context: Angular vs React
  • Components
  • Data Binding
  • Performance & DOM
  • Scalability
  • Popularity
  • Learning Curve
  • Use Cases: Angular vs React

Difference between Angular and React

Talking about the difference between Angular and React is an unfair comparison. Angular is a complete web framework that is a structural framework for dynamic web apps. React is an open-source library that deals with views and components. 

Based on a few factors, we’ve compiled a list of the differences between the two technologies. Let’s start with a quick overview of Angular and React. 

An Overall Context: Angular vs React

What is Angular?

It’s referred to as Angular or Angular 2+, a JavaScript framework written in TypeScript, Angular, is developed and maintained by Google. Initially released in 2010, Angular is a complete rewrite of AngularJS and described as a “Superheroic MVWFramework (Model View Whatever)” on Angular’s webpage. The latest version of Angular is Angular 9.1. 

Typically, it enables developers to create client-side web applications by providing robust tools. Initially, it got popularity for building single-page applications (SPAs).

The big companies that use Angular: Gmail, YouTube TV, Microsoft Office, Udacity, and Xbox Live.

What is React?

A JavaScript library, React, is developed and maintained by Facebook. Released in March 2013, it’s used to build UIs. React’s hidden fact is that it’s more than just the framework as it gives more freedom to developers than Angular.

React.js is seven years old, which makes it a relatively new technology. But it’s matured very quickly. With JavaScript, you can build dynamic apps where the browser performs a substantial part of functions to work without contacting the server. 

It allows the data and interface to be updated independently in just a part of an application. 

The big companies that use React: Facebook, The New York Times, WhatsApp, Khan Academy, Netflix, Dropbox, and Instagram. 

Components

The components are an integral part of any framework. Generally, components get input and change behavior. This behavior commonly manifests as a change in the UI at some part of the web page. The main goal of using components is to make it easier to reuse the code. 

For example, a component can be an eCommerce site or a login box on social networks. 

Angular

The components are referred to as directives in Angular. Directives are markers on DOM elements that Angular can track and attach specific behavior. Therefore, Angular distinguishes the UI part of components as attributes of HTML tags and their actions in the form of JavaScript code. This is what makes it stand apart from Angular vs React

React

React fuses UI (User Interface) and behavior of components. Simply put, a component is a JavaScript class or function that accepts inputs like properties (props) and returns a React element, which describes how a section of UI should appear. 

Data Binding

Angular

The significant difference between Angular and React is two-way vs. one-way binding. Angular offers two-way data binding. For instance, if you change the UI element in Angular, then the corresponding model state changes. Moreover, if you change the model state, the UI element changes; therefore, two-way binding. In short, If the users interact with a <input> field and provide new value to the app, not only the View is updated but the Model as well. 

Data binding is a core concept in Angular and allows defining communication between a component and DOM. This feature makes it easy to define interactive apps without worrying about pushing and pulling data. 

Two-way binding is beneficial for Angular as it helps you write less boilerplate code to create interactions between components (the Model and View) in our apps. Hence, it’s not essential to invent a method to track changes in the application. 

The disadvantage of Angular’s two-way data binding approach is its negative impact on performance. Angular automatically builds a watcher for each binding. 

And there comes the point when the application is packed with several watchers for bound elements. 

  

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React

React only has one-way binding, which means that data only goes one way. It means that you are not following a clean flow architecture. One of the most significant benefits of this approach is the data flows throughout your application in a single direction, and giving you better control over it. 

One-way data-binding also means React is comparatively high-performing than Angular, which makes debugging easier in React-based applications. The unidirectional data flow or one-way data-binding means that you often nest child components within higher-order parent components when designing a React application.

In one-way binding, the model state is updated first, and then it renders the change in the UI element. 

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Performance & DOM

Both React and Angular are for front-end development. For building large-scale apps, they do equally well. The significant difference between React vs Angular is that React uses virtual DOM (Document Object Model) and allows accessing and changing document contents, layout, and structure. On the other hand, Angular uses real DOM where the entire tree data structure is updated even though a single section of it is changed or altered. 

In React, the virtual DOM enables tracking and updating the changes without affecting the other parts of the tree. 

Every time an app’s state updates, for example, when the name prop changes and creates a new one. The framework’s job is to reconcile the new one against the old one, and figure out what changes are required and apply it to the real DOM. 

The bottom line: virtual DOM is relatively faster than real DOM. It’s safe to say that React has won over Angular in this context. 

For example, if you want to update user profile details, its last name, then in Real DOM, instead of changing information, updates the entire tree structure of HTML tables until it reaches the needed data. 

While Virtual DOM enables you to update the changes without rewriting the entire HTML doc virtually, it renders updates faster. It ensures fast performance regardless of the size of the app. 

Scalability

When it comes to scalability or scalable apps, Angular is easy to scale. Thanks to its design and powerful CLI (Command Line Interface). Angular is packed with all core features that developers need to scale an existing app by adding new functionalities. 

On the other hand, React heavily depends on third-party tools. It’s more testable; however, it can be scalable but not as Angular. 

Popularity

Stack Overflow Survey - 

As per the Stack Overflow’s Annual Developer Survey 2019, React.js has become the most loved framework by developers (74.5%). On the contrary, Angular has a lower rate than React, which is 57.6% of developers interested in working with it. 


StackOverFlow


Google Trends - 

According to Google Trends, React is dominating the market compared to Angular. This increasing interest for React can be due to its simple learning curve. On the flip side, Angular is harder to learn because it uses more complex programming concepts, MVC architecture concepts, and mathematics. The graph of popularity reactjs vs angular, you can see in the below image:


Google Trends


NPM Downloads - 

The number of downloads of React is 7,908,012, and Angular is 5,27,034


NPM Downloads

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Learning Curve

As we have already discussed, the increasing demand for React is because of its learning curve. If you are a beginner, go with React. However, if you need something solid or enterprise-grade, choose the first one among Angular or React. The Angular’s learning curve is not as straightforward as React, but it has already proven itself as it gets mature. 

Use Cases: Angular vs React

Angular

Angular or Angular 2+ possesses several benefits that developers can get from using in their projects. Supported by Google, Angular has a powerful side, including its component-based architecture, great ecosystem, CLI (Command Line Interface), and detailed documentation. 

Speaking of the best use cases of Angular, we’ve compiled a few use cases that can benefit from Angular during web app development:

1. PWAs (Progressive Web Apps)

It is referred to as a web application, which possesses a set of capabilities that provides an app-like experience to users. PWAs have several current browser technologies to provide seamless user experience, even in situations with or without an internet connection. It means that a user can use the application when they are offline. Technologies like Angular have built-in PWA support and CLI commands that enable developers to easily turn their web apps into progressive web apps.

2. Enterprise Web Apps

Angular possesses TypeScript features that are needed to develop large-scale projects. TypeScript comprises autocompletion, navigation features, and advanced refactoring. Moreover, thanks to its architecture, you can easily reuse and maintain code. 

3. Apps with dynamic content

Angular’s primary purpose was to create a SPA, but it has a wide range of SPA development tools. Angular is an ideal technology for websites where the content should change dynamically based on user behavior and preferences. 

Dependency injections (DI) is a core feature of Angular and allows a class to receive dependencies from another class. DI ensures that if one component is changed, then another component will be adjusted automatically. 

Examples - The Use Cases of Angular: Video Streaming apps like YouTube, eCommerce apps, Real-time Data apps, User-generated Content Portals, and Websites for News and Content.

React

React is an ideal choice for making the websites relying heavily on user interaction with the elements. This is the best for those web apps in which the state components frequently change, for example, log-in page, navigation pop-ups, and disappears, content, or buttons when changed after users’ interaction. 

Thanks to its virtual DOM feature. React can easily manage each of these changing states and dynamically present the content to the end-users. 

Also, React is an excellent choice for websites with a complex structure. As the web app scales, React allows you to keep track of all the interactions easily. 

Examples -  The Use Cases of React: Data visualization tools or Dashboards, Social networking apps like Facebook, 


A Comparison: Angular vs React


Let’s have a quick look at the difference between Angular and React.

A Comparison: Angular vs React


What’s the best choice for 2021? 

When it comes to the difference between Angular and React, both technologies are great to create single-page applications, but both are different in terms of technicalities. As it turns out, Angular has proved tremendously successful in creating highly-interactive and dynamic web apps. On the other hand, React has a lightweight approach for developers to head to work without much learning. 

In the end, it all depends on your project’s requirements, the need for standardization, and the kind of support you want. 

Being a busy entrepreneur or startup owner with a lot on your plate, stick with the mantra - clarify the programming paradigm before choosing between Angular or React. 

We hope that you’ve enjoyed reading through this blog post. If you have any questions, we will get back to you with an optimal solution as a leading app development company in Dallas. You can also leave your comments below; we’d love to hear from you!