Let’s examine the positives, negatives, and neutrals of React and Angular and help you arrive at a decision as to which one suits your needs best.
Differences between Angular and React
Angular would seem to offer more features right out of the box than React does. Some of those standard features are dependency injection, component CSS encapsulation, routing, Ajax requests, templates extended from HTML, Angular forms, XSS protection, unit testing utilities, and more. Some of these features lie in the core of the framework so that developers can’t choose to not use them. That has been seen as overkill in some instances as it increases the time it takes for developers to pick up the language.
With React, however, you could be starting with a more minimalist approach. React has JSX instead of classic templates, XSS protection, unit testing components, and state management using setState and Context API. This means a React developer has the freedom to choose the libraries they want to add based on their needs. This could give a developer the ability to tailor each stack uniquely. And, of course, there’s less to learn so a quicker learning curve.
Developers need to find the right balance between working with mature products and trying their hands on the latest cutting-edge technology. In this regard, both React and Angular come with the satisfaction of fairly mature technologies now.
React has been around for over five years now and is extensively used in Facebook’s own products WhatsApp and Instagram. React is also one of the most popular projects on GitHub with over 119,000 stars.
Angular is also far from the new kid in town that still needs an introduction. It’s used in over 600 apps in Google, such as Google Analytics, Google Express, Google Cloud Platform, and so on.
Regular DOM / Virtual DOM (Document Object Model)
React uses a virtual DOM, which makes it so blazingly fast in comparison to Angular.
Here’s an instance of what a virtual DOM does. If you want to update a user’s age within an HTML block, a virtual DOM will look at the differences between the current and the previous HTML and change just the part that’s been updated. Angular uses a regular DOM, which would need it to update the entire HTML tree structure until it reaches the user age.
When dealing with hundreds of data requests on a single page, this can become problematic for the lack of time and space efficiency. React’s speed could win the day here.
Angular has a comprehensive to-learn list for developers. Start with the basics, including modules, decorators, services, directives, dependency injection, components, pipes, and templates. Then, move over to advanced topics such as zones, Rx.js, change detection, and AoT compilation. The learning curve of Angular is much more complex than for React.
Angular’s performance can get a bit laggy for its two-way data binding. The performance of your app might degrade with many watchers (Angular creates a watcher for each binding). This drawback increases manifold when several views depend on each other. Angular also applies changes in the real DOM in the browser, further affecting the performance of the app.
React’s Virtual DOM is its standout feature in comparison with other mature frameworks. As for one-way data binding, React does not use watchers to monitor changes in the DOM. Overall, React makes it seamless to track and control app performance.
Benefits of Angular vs. React
Here’s a wrap of the benefits of each:
- Cleaner code
- Better error handling
- Material design-like interface
- Seamless updates with Angular CLI
- Improved user experience
- Time-effective development
- Better app performance
- Quicker testing
- Code stability with one-directional data binding
React and Angular are both leading technologies for front-end development. While React seems to be surging now, Angular has its supporters as well. Of course, no matter which you pick, we can help you build your web app or product!