According to the experts, this comparison should be made based on various criteria, which include project size and budget, features to be added to the web application, team expertise, interoperability, etc.
Angular vs React: a brief overview
Let’s take a look at what Angular and React are.
What is Angular?
AngularJS was introduced in 2009, ten years ago, and was adopted by tech giant Google. Angular is an open-source, client-side web framework that helps Angular developers solve problems with single pages developed multiple times. It also helps extend HTML dictionaries by supporting libraries. It gets support from a large community. Angular is still going strong, and after the release of Angular 12, developers can expect its popularity to grow.
What is React?
ReactJS is typically used in conjunction with other libraries such as Redux. However, when working with a Model View Controller (MVC) architecture, it must be based on V. ReJS.
The main differences between React and Angular depend on a few aspects. Let’s talk about them separately!
User interface Component
The UI component is one of the factors that differentiates Angular from React. The React community creates its UI tools, and there are many free and paid UI components on the React portal.
Angular, on the other hand, has a built-in material design stack and comes with many pre-developed material design components. Therefore, UI configuration becomes very easy and fast.
AngularJS has a very complex and fixed structure as it depends on three layers: controller, view, and model. Angular allows developers to split the code of an application into multiple files. This allows templates or elements to be used repeatedly in multiple parts of the application.
React, on the other hand, does not choose the same architecture. It provides a simple way to create element trees. The library provides functional programming with declarative component definitions.
React’s code is logically structured and easy to read. They do not require developers to write much code.
React uses several tools for code editings, such as Visual Studio, Atom, and Sublime Text. It uses the Create React App tool to run the project, while the Next.js framework is used for server-side rendering. To test an application written in React, developers can use several tools for different components.
Like React, Angular also uses various code editors such as Visual tudio, Aptana, and Sublime Text. Angular CLI helps with project build, while Angular Universal helps with server-side rendering.
However, the main difference between React and Angular is that Angular can be fully tested with a single tool. This can be Jasmine, Protractor, or Karma. And this is the main advantage of Angular over React.
In the Angular framework, documentation is not faster because it is a continuous development process. In addition, many of the guides and documentation are still in AngularJS, which is currently useless and outdated for developers.
This is not the case for ReactJS development. React is regularly updated, but knowledge from previous versions is still valuable.
Mobile Application Solutions
For mobile app development, Angular offers the Ionic framework, which includes an interesting library of UI components and the Cordova container. Thus, an application created in the native web application container looks like a web application when viewed on a device.
The same cannot be observed in the ReactJS library. It provides a completely native user interface that helps developers create custom elements and link them with native code written in Kotlin, Java, and Objective-C. This makes React the winner here.
Productivity and development speed
Angular offers a better development experience with its CLI that allows you to seamlessly create workspaces and design working applications and create elements and services using single-line commands, built-in troubleshooting for detailed issues, and the removal of Typescript coding functionality.
When it comes to React, productivity and development speed can be affected by the involvement of third-party libraries. ReactJS developers should opt for the right architecture along with the tools.
In addition, the toolset for React applications varies from project to project, which means that more effort and time should be spent on updating the application if new developers are involved in the project.
This means that Angular wins over React in terms of productivity and speed of app development.
The application uses states in several ways. The user interface of the application is explained by an element at a particular point in time. When the data changes, the framework then re-renders the entire UI element.
In this way, the application ensures that the data is updated. For React, Redux is chosen as the solution for state management, while Redux is not used for Angular.
Compared to Angular, React has more searches according to Google Trends. According to the Stack Overflow 2020 Developer Survey, React.js is the most popular and desired web framework among developers.
While people are more interested in Angular because of its many off-the-shelf solutions, both technologies are growing. Therefore, both frameworks are well-known in the market for front-end development.
Freedom and flexibility
A different aspect between Angular and React is flexibility. The React framework offers the freedom to choose the architecture, libraries, and tools for application development. This helps you build a custom app with exactly the set of technologies and features you need, given that you have hired an expert ReactJS development team.
Compared to React, Angular offers limited flexibility and freedom.
Testing and debugging Angular IO is possible for the entire project using a single tool like Karma, Protractor, and Jasmine. However, the same is not possible for ReactJS application development. Some tools are required to develop different test suites. This maximizes the time and effort spent on the testing procedure. So, in this regard, Angular wins over React.
Data binding is another aspect that influences the decision of choosing a suitable framework between Angular and React. React uses unidirectional data binding where UI components can be changed only after the model state has changed. Developers cannot change UI components without updating the corresponding model state.
On the other hand, bidirectional binding is considered for Angular. This method ensures that the model state is automatically changed whenever the UI component is changed and vice versa.
While the Angular approach seems to be more efficient and simpler, the React approach provides a clearer and better data representation for larger application projects. Thus, the winner is React.
React has more community support than Angular on GitLab and GitHub. According to the StackOverflow 2020 Developer Survey, the number of developers working on React.js projects is higher than the number of developers working on Angular. So React has a lot of community support compared to Android.
Application features and user experience
React uses Fiber and Virtual DOM technologies to build applications, which are the foundation of AngularJS.However, newer versions of Angular boast features and functions such as ShadowAPI that bring deeper competition between the two frameworks without affecting the functionality or size of the app.
Document Object Model (DOM)
Angular uses a true DOM, where the entire tree data structure is current, even if one segment is modified or changed.In contrast, ReactJS uses a virtual DOM that allows application developers to track and update changes without affecting other parts of the tree.In this context, React wins because the virtual DOM is faster than the real DOM.
Is Angular or React better?
Both React and Angular are great tools for app developers. Both frameworks have many advantages, but React works better than Angular so far. It’s being used more and more, it’s trendy and it’s growing. ReactJS also has great support from the developer community.
React outperforms Angular because it performs virtual DOM optimization and rendering. It’s also easy to switch between versions of React. You don’t have to install updates one by one as in the case of Angular. Finally, React offers many solutions to developers to speed up their development and reduce bugs.
No matter what you think about the Angular vs. React comparison, you should make your decision based on your usability and functionality needs.
Angular and React: A Summary
Choosing the appropriate framework and maximizing its benefits depends entirely on the requirements of the project.
Angular is a complex framework, while React cannot be considered as a framework but as a library. React.js requires less coding, and if you compare it with Angular based on performance, React.js is likely to be better.