Even experienced front-end developers have trouble weighing the pros and cons when deciding between Angular and React to build their apps either on the web or mobile. There is a significant overlap in their capabilities and the results that they produce, but they each have elements that lend them to different projects and development styles.
Angular is a development platform managed by Google and has been used to develop the company's suite of apps and solutions. It’s a component-based framework that is built to scale and has been used in single-developer projects all the way up to enterprise-level applications.
What is React vs. Angular? React is a component-based framework for front-end development in web and app design, but its functionality is more based on UX than Angular. It’s easy to use for small and large projects and is a very flexible interface for developers to use.
Why would you choose Angular over React or vice versa? They each have their own pros and cons:
Some of the benefits of using Angular include its out-of-the-box functionality, consistency, and productivity. Dependency injection makes managing dependencies super-efficient. It’s very popular for designing and building larger applications because it provides developers with everything they need, including IDE features like AOT diagnostic messages, error checking, and autocompletion.
Many of the disadvantages of Angular depend on your level of proficiency in web development. For example, it is based on TypeScript, so if you do not have a background in using this language, then there could be a steep learning curve. Also, the two-way data binding is great for smaller projects, but it can be complicated to scale and debug as the app grows in complexity.
Some of the benefits of using React include the ability to use stateless components and virtual DOM. You can easily reuse components, making for a much faster build with less debugging required. There are also many React extensions that developers can use that further add to its flexible functionality.
The disadvantages of using React are centered around the fact that it is built on an ecosystem of libraries instead of a framework, creating fragmented documentation, which can be tough to master. Additionally, the speed of development possible with React can also contribute to an app's downfall if the developers are unable to keep up with updates to the multiple components.
Both React and Angular are components based, making it easy to repurpose UI components and streamline testing environments. However, they both have their own ways of achieving componentization.
Angular utilizes two-way binding while React utilizes one-way binding. One-way data binding makes state management more simple with isolated changes and a unilateral workflow. Two-way data binding updates both the model and the view simultaneously, which can get complicated with the addition of more and more elements.
Both Angular and React provide high-quality performance for web and mobile apps, so it shouldn’t be a key differentiator when deciding which platform to use. However, React does have a slight tendency to outperform Angular when it comes to site loading times.
Developers have two options; either create a hybrid app hosted in a wrapper or create an app that compiles code into native device language. Hybrid apps are typically easier to build, but performance is increased with a compiled app. Choose the framework that goes best with your existing workflow.
Both Angular and React are great tools to build mobile apps and web apps with minor differences in workflow and programming environments. If you’re stuck choosing when to use React JS vs. Angular, it's best to start with whichever environment best suits your project size and your experience with development.