Angular.js vs react.js – what for your app and when?

30 May 2019 / By TE Author

App developers nowadays have a plethora of platforms to pick from. Of late, the developers are divided in their views regarding choosing from the 2 options for front end development – angular.js and react.js.

Based on javascript, both of these are robust development technologies on which advanced web applications can be built. If you are finding it difficult to decide whether angular is your best bet or react, this article is for you.

A brief introduction of the two JS frameworks

What is react.js?

React.js is a popular open-source javascript library that was launched by Facebook for creating dynamic user interfaces. It is based on JSX and javascript and used widely for creating reusable HTML elements.

What is angular.js?

Angular.js is Google’s version of the front-end development framework, which is also an open-source in nature. It is compatible with plenty of code editors and thus developers prefer it for creating dynamic websites and apps.

The Comparison – angular.js vs react.js

React.js has been used by brands like Uber, Netflix, WhatsApp, Instagram, while angular.js has been lapped up by companies like GM, Sony, HBO, and Nike. So, both have a few positive and a few negative aspects to talk about. Listed below are some key parameters on which you can compare and assess the two platforms for web app development:

Both react.js and angular.js have component-based architecture and this ensures they are replete with cohesive, modular and reusable components. However, the former makes use of javascript while the latter has typescript for web development. The latter is effort-free and more compact.

Not every app development platform is easy to learn. Angular.js is known for the steeper learning curve compared with react.js. Google’s angular IO framework has many ways of resolving a particular problem and features a complex component management system. As it is a developing framework, the developers have to update their skills on it. For the react.js framework, learning is simpler and it is easy when you are good at javascript programming. For newcomers in this sector, it is the easier choice.

Angular.js offers better development experience owing to its one-line commands, embedded problems solving process. The typescript clean coding feature also adds to enhanced productivity. React.js suffers from a relatively slower development speed and its productivity is also impacted to an extent by third-party libraries.

The react.js framework gives you the freedom to pick the tools, libraries as well as architecture for app development. With it, you can create highly-customized apps, when you have a capable react.js development team. Angular.js is somewhat limited in terms of freedom and flexibility.

Data binding is another important factor to analyze when it comes to picking the right framework for web app development. React.js relies on one-way data binding and so its UI elements can be altered after modifying the model state. In angular.js, a two-way binding approach exists. As a result, any change in the UI element causes model state change and vice versa. However, in larger app projects, react.js is better suited.

React.js makes use of virtual DOM and fiber. However, in newer versions, there are elements like ShadowAPI and that has made it more competitive. In terms of performance, both platforms are on par – almost.

Angular.js has an ionic framework aimed at mobile app development, along with engaging UI component library and a cordova container. So, the created app looks like a web inside the native web app container. The same is not true with the react javascript library which provides truly native UI experience. So, you can make own components and then bind them to code composed in kotlin and java.

When you are developing a web or mobile app, testing for errors and buds is mandatory. In angular.js you can run testing and debugging for an entire project using tools like jasmine, karma. This is not the case with react.js app development and there you need a set of tools to execute different types of testing. So, in this case, you end up spending more time and effort to run various types of tests.

Angular.js is easy to update owing to the presence of an improved CLI. This also helps in app development using the framework. React.js has the facility to move between 2 versions. However, its front-end development library is largely dependent on external libraries.

In the angular.js framework, documentation is slower mostly owing to the ongoing development process. This is where react.js leaps ahead.

  • Architecture
  • Learning curve
  • Productivity and development speed
  • Freedom and flexibility
  • Data binding
  • App performance
  • Mobile solutions
  • Testing
  • App extensibility or updating
  • Documentation
Conclusion – where it all leads to?

Both angular.js and react.js have certain advantages and drawbacks for web app development, as it is. It is hard to say which one is better in a simple way! It depends on the priorities of a project and skill set of the javascript developers eventually.

React.js is better when –

  • You need to expand app functionality later.
  • You need to update app looks and add features.
  • You are okay with, initially slow development.

Angular.js is ideal when –

  • You seek a well-maintained and robust framework for all types of projects.
  • You need apps that are not very complex in nature.
  • You need higher productivity and ready-to-use solutions.

We hope your confusion is cleared to an extent now.