Choosing the right framework is kind of like choosing the right car for your daily commute. If you commute long distances everyday and are quite price sensitive, going for an efficient hatchback makes sense for you. However, if you’re a Mom and need to ferry your brood of toddler to and from soccer practice, an SUV or a minivan is the way to go. Similarly, picking the right framework has a direct bearing on a project’s feasibility including scalability, durability, level of complexity and code maintainability.

Angular and React are two frameworks that are currently in vogue and have a strong developer community behind them. If you are weighing your options and contemplating either of these frameworks for you next project, this blog will help you arrive at a decision. In this blog we’ve covered not only the distinctions and similarities, but the pros and cons of each of these platforms. 

Angular v/s React: A Quick History

Those of you still aren’t aware of the background of the Angular javascript framework; it’s written using TypeScript. The script was originally developed by Google, and the overall maintenance is also carried out by the search-engine giant.

The framework is defined by the community as an example of a superheroic JavaScript MVC Framework. All of the versions of Angular from version 2 and above, which were released after the month of September in 2016, are nothing but a rewrite of the entire AngularJS, the original which was released in the month of October of 2010. The latest avatar of Angular to have invaded the market is Angular 8, which offers a huge boost when it comes to performance.

React on the other hand is originally a JavaScript library that is maintained and developed by Facebook; the social networking giant. The library was originally released in the year 2013.

Now, Facebook describes this particular library to be efficient for building a better user interface. In the case of usage, it is quite significant that Facebook uses a lot more of their React library as compared to what Google does with Angular. That clearly shows that Facebook is betting big on their home-made technology, and so far, they have been successful by a large margin.

The data clearly suggests that both React as well as Angular are going to stay in the market for a long time to come.

React and Angular: A case of Library v/s Framework

One of the biggest differences amongst them is that Angular is an MVC framework, while React is nothing but a library based on JavaScript.

The library’s character is to provide only with the viewing experience for its users, while the AngularJS can provide the inter-connected response system with the platform that would enable your users not only to experience the usability but also to interact with the UI.

This calls for some elaborate discussion. Here we go:

Pros and Cons of the Angular Framework.

When it comes to Angular, it is considered as a framework. This is mainly because of its wide offerings of the opinion on how you should structure your application. It brings into play an “out-of-the-box” approach.

Advantages of choosing Angular.

  • One of the biggest advantages in this regard is that with Angular, you never need to spend time deciding on which routing libraries shall prove efficient for your project purposes. However, in such a situation, the con is that you would have lesser flexibilities as compared to React.
  • There are a number of Free Angular Templates available on the web. All of these templates are based on the extended version of the HTML.
  • Dependency injection
  • XSS protection
  • You also get hold of Ajax requests initiated by @angular/HTTP
  • You also get access to Routing, as provided by @angular/router
  • Encapsulation of Component CSS
  • For unit-testing components, you get all the utilities
  • You would be able to build online forms using @angular/forms, which is already provided with the framework

Disadvantages of Angular.

  • You can only choose from the library that is pre-installed by the Angular. You don’t have any opportunities to modify the framework.
  • You would not get a lot of flexibility when it comes to decision making regarding your application development.

Pros and Cons of the React Library.

React offers you extensive freedom and flexibility in terms of your ability to do whatever you wish to do with your application. As we have mentioned before, React provides only the view (UI) portion in the MVC.

In that case, you would require solving the complications related to M and C on your own. MVC stands for Model, View, and Controller. Since React doesn’t interfere with your preference for M and C, you get the flexibility of choosing whatever library as per your requirements.

Advantages of choosing React.

  • You can use multiple fast-moving, independent, libraries for the execution of your project. All this might sound easy, but you need to take more precautions when it comes to working with React.
  • It does offer XSS protection
  • There is no dependency injection associated with React
  • Your application gets the ability to fetch Ajax requests
  • You get access to all the utilities for the unit-testing components

Cons of choosing React.

The React framework doesn’t come bundled with many template options, you’ll have to rely on third party websites and scout through marketplaces to find free React templates that can help expedite your project. Instead, it provides an ML-like language; in the form of JSX, which is built on JavaScript.

  • You must take enough initiatives to stay updated with the migrations that you might implement in the future.
  • Because of such a framework, you might end up losing control of your site’s folder hierarchy along with its architecture.
  • You must adhere to the fact that each of the new React projects would be different than the previous one you have executed. As a result, you need to spend more time feeding the requirements for your application to end up being successful.

Bonus Tip: Here we have listed some of the most effective libraries that you can use for React.

  • For Routing purposes, use React-router
  • For state management, you may use either of the two: Redux or MobX
  • For initiating additional testing utilities, you can use Enzyme

Angular v/s React for Mobile app development

The good news is that both React and Angular offer some extensive solutions for creating mobile applications. Let us quickly look at a comparative study of the facilities provided by each of these platforms.

  • Ionic is an app development framework used for the development of hybrid mobile apps. The Cordova container that it uses is originally incorporated with Angular. Ionic, by itself, offers a premium collection of a robust library of UI components.
  • These components are way easier to set up and use for bringing the best hybrid applications to the table. Nevertheless, the application, when shown on a device, only resembles a simple web app positioned inside a native web-view container.
  • You would require some effective programming skills along with some extensive coding knowledge in order to maximize the functionality of the application as well as improve its usability.

Now, let us shift our focus to the React Native, a platform developed by Facebook to build native mobile apps. When it comes to the syntax and its uses, the platform is somewhere distinctive to the Angular, but there are more similarities between the two structures.

  • React Native provides the ultimate library for true native User Interface. And that’s not the end of the story, it allows you to develop some of your exclusive components and together bind them with the native code that has been written in C, Swift, or Java.
  • However, one must not forget that React is more of a library. As a result, there are some limitations that you otherwise would have avoided confronting while using Ionic; the platform that is built on Angular.
  • With React, the complications of implementation of some measures may not be too many, but when it comes to adding depth to your mobile application, you need to look for other utilities that are not provided by React Native.
  • As a result, you might consider getting hold of some other utilities that are not provided by React. And that calls for some more effort from your end.

React vs. Angular: Testing

For the purpose of testing its codes based on React, Facebook makes use of Jest. The platform has been included in all of the React projects, and requires no configuration for using it. In addition to that, it also entertains the inclusion of a strong mocking library. It’s worth noting that in many cases, Jest is used in combination with Enzyme for maximum proficiency.

Angular uses Jasmine a behavior-driven development framework for testing JavaScript code. One of the best advantages of using Jasmine is that it can lead to the emergence of millions of new ways of writing assertions and tests. You can clearly understand the whereabouts of each line of code just by reading them entirely. 

Angular v/s React: Which has a steeper learning curve?

The learning curve of any technology is the first factor that you should consider before adopting that particular tech. You must take into considerations the previous experience that people have come across while using any particular technology. In that regard, the people who are familiar with such frameworks should have a say on the matter of which technology would suit you the most. 

Before you get started with either Angular or React, we must help you get hold of a proper understanding of the characteristics that you should expect from each of the frameworks.

Angular: Here’s what to expect while getting started

If you’re just getting started in the Angular framework, make sure you start with the following concepts before moving on to advanced ones. Angular is like a wide ocean, but getting the basics right is key. Start off with the following Directives. 

  • Modules
  • Decorators
  • Components
  • Services
  • Dependency injection
  • Pipes
  • Usage of Angular Templates

Once you are done with all this stuff, there await more advanced concepts that you can learn in order to improve your understanding of the platform. Among the more complex and advanced features that you should opt for learning are:

  • Change detection
  • Zones
  • AoT compilation, and
  • Rx.js

It’s evident that Angular definitely has a higher barrier to entry and a steeper learning curve. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not worth your time. It’s worth mentioning that advanced platforms such as the Angular brings forward an extensive opportunity to experiment and customize, which isn’t the case in other simpler platforms. Angular is perfect for highly sophisticated and complex projects, where you need a framework that provisions for everything. 

Since Angular is a full-fledged MVC network. As a result, you get access to too many features and specifications that you should not expect from library frameworks such as React. 

React: Here’s what to expect while getting started

When it comes to your experience, writing JSX might see to be complex stuff in the beginning; unlike Angular, and for those who are not aware of JSX, things might not go according to what you had initially planned.

You would require learning the ability to write the components included in the framework and how to manage the internal state while using proper props for the required configuration. You can use React Redux to manage this.

You must learn everything about routing libraries since React doesn’t bring such a feature to the table in a readymade state. All you need to do is customize the configurations for better execution and implementation of the plans you have in your mind.

Once done with the routing library, now you must move on to the state management procedure using MobX or Redux. This is of vast importance that when working on React, without understanding and getting trained on them,  you would be unable to build your applications.

The Final Verdict:

In terms of sophistication of framework as well as extensive capabilities Angular proves to be much superior to React. However, we feel that the comparison is similar to comparing Apples to Oranges, Angular is a full fledged MVC framework while React is restricted to Front end development. 

However, if you’re getting started from scratch we definitely recommend you work with Angular. 

Here’s a quick recap of why we recommend it. 

Angular (Winner)

  • Provides a full framework
  • Comes with a Regular DOM
  • JavaScript and HTML initiates physical separation
  • Implements two-way Data Binding
  • Ionic and Cordova are highly equipped as compared to React Native
  • An entire MVC framework waiting to be discovered
  • Angular is easy to scale in comparison to React
  • Used by the following notable companies: Google, Forbes, Nike, Upwork, HBO, General Motors, and Sony

React

  • Provides only viewing library
  • Offers a Virtual DOM
  • Uses JSXOne-way Data Binding
  • You only get the ‘View’ part of the MVC framework with React.
  • Easy to scale, but not as efficient as compared to Angular
  • It’s open-source as well
  • Used by the following notable companies: Facebook, Airbnb, Netflix, Uber, Instagram, Dropbox, and Whatsapp

Bonus Tip: For React Users

We know there’s very few resources out there when it comes to React. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best React Templates, React Themes, React Admin Dashboards and React Admin Panels  for you to pick from. Our free React templates come configured with the latest React Redux official React bindings for Redux and are kept up-to-date with the latest APIs from Redux and React.

Sharing is caring!