React Vs Angular 2021: Which Is Better For Your App?

Over the course of multiple decades, the world has been awarded with countless web development frameworks. Angular, Angular JS, Express JS, JQuery, Svelte, Next JS, Bootstrap, React, Sails JS etc., are some of the widely recognized front end development frameworks which has helped the developers design some of the finest mobile applications and web applications. Amongst so many Java Script frameworks, two names that stand out and are currently fighting for the top spot are React and Angular. 

Both the Java Script frameworks are used extensively but the question that arises is: React vs Angular– Which is better for mobile app development

Hence, we have decided to address this query once and for all in today’s article.

What is React?

React is an open-source, front end Java Script library for designing dynamic User Interfaces or UI components. React was initially released in 2013 by Facebook, designed by Jordan Walke, a Facebook employee. A more stable version of React, React 16.7.0, has been introduced recently in October, 2020. 

Its key features are:

  • React uses component based architecture with the help of virtual DOM.
  • React is built on Java Script.
  • It renders to the client/server side.
  • The nature of data binding is one- way or uni-directional.
  • A medium level of data abstraction is involved in React JS.
  • React templates are JSX+JS (ESS etc.).
  • React is generally used for developing reusable HTML elements for front end development.
popular react projects
Popular Apps Built On React

What is Angular?

Angular is an open-source, front end web framework which is used to design structural frameworks for dynamic web pages, web apps, single-page web apps and hybrid apps. Angular was first released in 2016, developed and maintained by Google. The latest stable version of Angular, Angular 7.2.0 was released in October 2020.

Its key features are:

  • Angular is written in type script.
  • It uses component based architecture with the help of real DOM.
  • Angular does rendering on the client/server side.
  • A strong data abstraction is involved in Angular.
  • Angular template is HTML+ Type script
  • Angular is generally considered for creating dynamic websites and web apps.
  • The nature of data binding is bi-directional or two-way.
popular angular projects
Popular Apps Built on Angular

As we are now done with the brief introduction of React and Angular, we will now head towards step by step, point by point discussion of our main concern: React vs Angular.

To do this, we will be doing comparative study of React vs Angular, by first going over the technological and technical aspects of both React and Angular.

React Vs Angular: Which one is better for your app?

React-vs-angular
Difference Between React and Angular

1. React Vs Angular: Comparison Of Performance

React and Angular both are used for front end development and both are exceptionally great when it comes to building large scale apps. React is in JavaScript, hence it is a heavy language, while Angular is an enhanced HTML, which is quite lightweight. When a browser opens a web page, it opens an Angular based web page faster than a React based web page.

2. React Vs Angular: Comparison Of DOM

DOM is a Document object model which allows accessing and changing contents, layout and structure of a document. While React Java Script uses virtual DOM, Angular uses a real DOM. While virtual DOM allows for updation of any change without re-writing the entire document virtually, real DOM updates the entire tree structure of HTML tables until it reaches the needed data field. 

Hence, virtual DOM allows for a faster updation and ensures speedy performance irrespective of the size of the application.

3. React Vs Angular: Comparison Of Data Binding

Data binding is basically the process of synchronizing data between business logic and user interface. The difference between Angular and React is that Angular uses both unidirectional and bi-directional data binding while React uses unidirectional data binding.

Two-way data binding in Angular means that when any data is changed, it impacts the view and changing the view changes in data as well.

One-way data binding in React means that since the child components are nested with parent components, any change in data is not reflected in view and vice-versa.  

Hence, bidirectional data binding makes Angular easier and simpler to work with. Also the framework becomes more flexible.

4. React Vs Angular: Comparison Of Component Architecture

features of react and angular framewrok
Features of React and Angular Framework

React uses User Interface components with their own state and structure to develop complex UI. These UI components are reusable in nature. Some of the multiple integration and supporting tools are:

  • Redux is a state container to speed up the work of React in large applications.
  • Babel is used for conversion of JSX into Java Script so that the apps can be understood by the browsers.
  • Webpack is a standard bundler of web modules.

While Angular is a full- fledged and pure framework with following features:

  • RxJS is used for Reactive programming.
  • Angular CLI is a robust command line interface.
  • Angular Universal is used for rendering server side.

Hence, it’s safe to say that both React and Angular have powerful and strong architecture, but React is easier to understand due to multiple integrations. Also, since React is a library, it can be integrated into any project even if the project is written in Angular. But the same is not true in case of vice versa.

5. React Vs Angular: Comparison Of State Management

Applications use states at multiple instances. Each User Interface component has its own state. In React, state handling is done by Redux while in Angular doesn’t require state management via external data stores like Redux etc.

6. React Vs Angular: Comparison Of Self Sufficiency

self sufficient framework
Which framework is self-sufficient?

React is a library based software development framework which requires calling of additional libraries for any inclusion and addition in an application such as Helmet, Redux or React Router etc.

While Angular is a self-sufficient full-fledged software development framework that doesn’t need inclusion of any library. All functions are implemented via Angular package.

7. React Vs Angular: Comparison Of Languages

React uses Java Script ES6+ language in collaboration with JSX script. On the other hand, Angular uses Typescript and HTML. While deciding Angular vs React, one of the major deciding factors depends on the comfort level and understandability of the developer as well, whether the developer is comfortable with Java or HTML.

8. React Vs Angular: Comparison Of User Interface Components

React uses UI components developed by the React community. UI Tools and components of React can vary from paid to free in React portal.

Angular as discussed is a self-sufficient and full-fledged software development framework with built in tools, functionalities, material tech-stack and pre-built components of design and development from A to Z. Due to this self-sufficiency, UI configuration is fast and efficient.

9. React Vs Angular: Comparison Of Directives

In React, logic and templates are explained at the end of every component which further enables the readers to understand the meaning of the code without the preamble of knowing its syntax, thus making the whole process quite simple and easy to understand even for the budding developers.

On the other hand, syntax of the directives of Angular are very complex, highly sophisticated and incomprehensible for the bourgeoning developers.

10. React Vs Angular: Comparison Of Toolset

React uses Create React App or CLI tool for bootstrapping a project and Next.JS framework for server side rendering. It uses multiple code editors like Sublime Text, Atom and Visual Studio as well as multiple tools for testing multiple elements of a single app.

Angular too uses multiple code editing tools as well like Sublime Text, Aptana and Visual Studio apart from using Angular CLI for setting up of a project and Angular Universal for server side rendering.

But, Angular has a major advantage over React in this case, since an entire Angular project can be tested using one single tool. Karma, Protractor or Jasmine anyone of them can be used for the testing of an entire Angular app.

11. React Vs Angular: Comparison Of Learning Curve

Angular has a steep learning curve, for although the Angular IO framework provides many solutions to solve any specific problem, Angular still has a very difficult and complicated component management system. Apart from this, the developers need to have a decent level of familiarity with different languages and concepts.

When talking about the learning curve, React has a moderate learning curve. React Java Script allows the developer to easily learn and develop applications when well-versed with Java Script. Directives are explained at the end of every component thus enabling developers to understand the code without understanding the syntax. Also, React Java Script provides multiple useful resources to enhance learning and understanding of newcomers.

Thus making React number one choice of up and budding developers in comparison to Angular.

12. React Vs Angular: Comparison Of Speed And Productivity

Due to involvement of third party libraries and functionalities, the speed and productivity of development of applications using React Java Script gets negatively affected. Selection and searching of correct architecture and tools need to be made.

As the toolkit for mobile development differs from app to app, thus needing more time and efforts thus inversely affecting speed and productivity of the project. 

While Angular offers a one stop solution due to its in-built tools, functionalities and components, thanks to its CLI. It offers a complete workspace with the ability to design and develop apps speedily using mere one line commands and built in processes to solve comprehensive problems. This in turn has a positive effect on productivity as well.

Know More: How To Build the Strategy For a Mobile Application?

13. React Vs Angular: Comparison Of Freedom

React offers the developers the freedom to choose the appropriate tools, libraries and architecture for app development. Highly-customized apps can be made using React JS due to its flexibility.

Angular offers a very limited amount of freedom and flexibility since it only lets the developers use the in-built and pre-built components.

14. React Vs Angular: Comparison Of Bundle Size

Size always matters. The smaller the size of the web page or web document, the faster it will load and higher will be the optimization yielded. 

In Angular, size is reduced by following the simple procedures of data minimization and data compression, thus leading to high optimization. Therefore, the entire bundle of Angular framework is not included in users’ app by getting rid of development utilities and unused modules.

In React Java Script, size is reduced by the concept of tree shaking which is the process of elimination of dead code. Unused modules are not included in the bundle during app building, they are loaded specifically on demand.  

15. React Vs Angular: Comparison Of Backward Compatibility

“Every success story is a tale of constant adaptation, revision, and change.”- Richard Branson.

From a developer point of view, the ability to add features, modules, libraries and functionalities and update the architecture is very important. 

Angular has limited to none when it comes to the power of backward compatibility. It’s impossible to jump from Angular 2.0 to Angular 7.0 without undergoing the extensive and extremely strenuous procedure of installing updates between all versions, one by one.

Why React over Angular? Well, as React is a library, has absolute and full Backward compatibility as it allows for the addition of new libraries to the application and also allows for updation of the old ones.

16. React Vs Angular: Comparison Of Scalability

Scalability is the degree of a systems’ ability to increase or decrease performance and cost in response to the changes or updates made in application and system.

So when choosing between React and Angular, scalability needs to be considered with regards to the future scope of the project.

As React uses third party tools and libraries, apps made with React are scalable.

While, Angular is low on scalability measure, since it comes with all the pre-packed features a developer may require.

17. React Vs Angular: Comparison Of Mobile Solutions

Angular offers a framework for mobile app development using Cordova Container and an UI library. Hence when the mobile app is seen on any device it seems like a web inside a native web app container.

While React offers a completely native UI, where you can build your own components, thus winning the battle.

18. React Vs Angular: Comparison Of Testing

Angular has a major advantage over React in this case, since an entire Angular project can be tested using one single tool. Karma, Protractor or Jasmine anyone of them can be used for the testing of an entire Angular app while React uses multiple tools for testing multiple elements of a single app.

19. React Vs Angular: Comparison Of Documentation

The documentation in Angular framework is slower than React owing to the fact that the development process is ongoing. Moreover, most of the documentation in the Angular framework is redundant and archaic hence rendering them useless for the developers.

Whereas same is not true for React Java Script. Despite undergoing regular updations, documentation of React Java Script is still insightful and valuable.

20. React Vs Angular: Comparison Of Community Support

React and Angular both have their own share of fans, both of them have big communities supporting them. There are various surveys that clarify the answer for Angular vs React: who has got the bigger community support?

  • NPM download survey states that the number of downloads of React Java Script far exceed the number of downloads of Angular framework.
  • NPM Packages study shows that the number of dependents of React are nearly five times the number of dependents of Angular.
  • NPM Packages depending on React – 48,718 dependents
  • NPM Packages depending on Angular – 9,610 dependents
  • GitHub Survey shows React has 50517 repositories while Angular has 14823 repositories.
  • As per Reddit Metrics, the number of web applications built in React is more than 150,000 whereas the number of applications built in Angular is less than 30,000.
  • As per Google Trends Survey, the interest over time of developers for React has increased dramatically over the years while the interest of developers for Angular is pretty stable over the years. But still the interest of developers in React is more than Angular.

After doing a thorough comparison of technological aspects of Angular vs React, we can now head on to the next part of our study, which is the analysis of benefits of using React and Angular in an individual capacity. Here we will be stating the key benefits of using React and Angular individually.

Benefits of React Java Script library

  • Better user experience
  • Time saving
  • Faster testing
  • Quick development
  • Code stability due to one directional data binding 

Benefits of Angular app development framework

  • Cleaner code
  • Material-design like interface
  • Higher performance
  • Seamless updates using Angular CLI
  • Better error handling process

Read More: How can AI enhance the ERP system and overall productivity?

Is Angular better or React in 2021?

Both Angular and React are good frameworks for front end web development but React is a better choice for beginners since it’s easy to learn in comparison to Angular. Also, React is basically a library which can be integrated in any project even if the project is made in Angular.

Is Angular harder than React?

Angular has a steep learning curve, for although the Angular IO framework provides many solutions to solve any specific problem, Angular still has a very difficult and complicated component management system. Apart from this, the developers need to have a decent level of familiarity with different languages and concepts.

When talking about the learning curve, React has a moderate learning curve. React Java Script allows the developer to easily learn and develop applications when well-versed with Java Script. Directives are explained at the end of every component thus enabling developers to understand the code without understanding the syntax. Also, React Java Script provides multiple useful resources to enhance learning and understanding of newcomers.

Thus making React number one choice of up and budding developers in comparison to Angular.

Why do we use React Java Script instead of Angular?

Firstly, the developers who use React Java Script instead of Angular do so because React is easy to use, learn and understand while Angular is quite difficult to learn. Learning Angular means you need to learn other languages and concepts as well, thus requiring too much time and efforts from developers.

Secondly, React is a library, hence it provides ample freedom and flexibility to developers unlike Angular that is completely full-fledged containing its pre-built components and tools.

Thirdly, React works on virtual DOM and Angular works on Real DOM, thus processing and loading time of React is less than Angular.

Fourthly, React offers isolated debugging features where you can test and debug various parts of one project using multiple code editors thus encouraging app stability.

Fifthly, code and component reusability features in React saves development time and cuts down costs involved.

Is Angular dying because of React?

Angular is slowly gaining popularity rather than dying because of React. Though market share and popularity of React is more than Angular, but Angular is still going steady. Yes, we agree that quantitatively, Angular projects might be less than React but make no mistakes, for the bigger and better projects related to large enterprises, Angular is the number one choice. 

Angular vs React: Stack overflow survey reviews?

65,000+ people participated in Stack overflow survey 2020. As per the survey with respect to web frameworks, jQuery is still at the top most position but slowly and steadily it is losing its vote and popularity to React and Angular.

The survey states that 35.90% people voted in favor of React Java Script thus placing it at number two slot, while 25.10% people voted for Angular, placing it at number three slot. 

The survey outcomes on the basis of various factors are categorized below:

  • Popularity: React 35.90%; Angular- 25.10%
  • Loved: React- 68.90%; Angular- 54.00%
  • Dreaded: React- 31.0%; Angular- 46.00%
  • Wanted: React- 22.40%; Angular- 10.60%

What are the results of Angular vs React performance tests?

When an Angular vs React performance test was done very enlightening findings were made in terms of time taken by Angular and React to do various tasks.

Time taken by Angular for loading > Time taken by React for loading

Time taken by Angular for scripting > Time taken by React for scripting

Time taken by Angular for rendering < Time taken by React for rendering

Time taken by Angular for painting < Time taken by React for painting

Time taken by Angular for system < Time taken by React for system

Idle Time taken by Angular < idle Time taken by React

Total Time taken by Angular > total Time taken by React

When to consider Angular over React for mobile app development?

Angular framework is suggested for application development when:

  • Application’s level of complexity varies from low to medium
  • The developers have first- hand experience with java, C# and predecessor versions of Angular.
  • A large scale application is to be developed 
  • A feature rich application needs to be designed
  • Higher productivity requirements
  • Developers are comfortable with ready to use solutions
  • Developers and application don’t need much freedom or flexibility
  • The application size needs to be regulated

When to consider React over Angular for mobile app development?

React Java Script is match made in heaven for the application development when:

  • Application’s level of complexity is of no significance. Applications with High level of complexity have more feasibility in React.
  • The developers should have expertise in HTML, CSS and Java Script
  • A highly customized and highly specified application is to be developed
  • User Interface components are expected to be shared across multiple applications as the project expands
  • Innumerable components, dynamic inputs, access permissions, buttons, user login etc. is required in development process.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Is Angular faster than React?

No, React Java Script is faster than Angular.

Can React be used with Angular?

Yes, React Java Script can be used with Angular Framework. Since React is a library, it can be used in Angular projects as well. But Angular Framework cannot be integrated with React Java Script based development projects.

Should you learn React or Angular?

React Java Script and Angular Framework both have their own pros and cons. If the developer is novice and they want stability and flexibility for their project, then they should go for React because the learning curve is fast and easier. If the developer is experienced and the project requires the application to be heavy, complex, sophisticated and dynamic, then Angular Framework is suggested.

Which is more suited for mobile app development- React or Angular?

React Java Script is advised for development of mobile applications since React is able to design lightweight applications. Also, the mobile apps developed in React have a very light footprint thus making them easy to load and the chances of crashing reduces as well.

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