React vs Angular – A Quick Comparison (2021 Update)
The situation in the world has changed in the last year which only boosted the digital transformation for many companies wanting to thrive and survive in the new order. These companies joined the others and started looking for solutions to fix their situation, and need to make hard business decisions fast. One of these decisions, connected in some way with digital transformation, is choosing technology to start building (or expanding) an online business.
Some of them will decide to build a web application. The choice may be overwhelming because of the number of options but as we want to help you, today we will limit these options to React and Angular, which are one of the most popular dilemmas nowadays.
You will find out about pros and cons of each one of them, and differences between them.
What is React?
Pros and cons of React
Now, let’s take a look at some advantages of React from a business perspective and its cons.
|Cost-effectiveness||High pace of development|
|Shortened time to market|
If you want to find out more, we prepared a detailed summary of React JS pros and cons, which you can read here.
Companies using React
Facebook isn’t the only company taking advantage of React and its possibilities. There are a few more well-known brands, such as:
However, it doesn’t mean that React is the right choice only for big brands – it’s on the contrary. You can use as little (or as much) of React as you need at the moment. For example, adding React to your website is literally a matter of one minute.
What is Angular?
Angular is a result of rewriting AngularJS, which was the first version of Angular.
Important note: Google won’t support AngularJS after June 30, 2021.
Pros and cons of Angular
You already have learned about React.js pros and cons, so it’s time to find out why it’s a great idea to choose Angular (or not).
|Better error handling||Huge size|
|Cleaner code than in vanilla JS||Limited SEO options|
|Higher performance||Steep learning curve|
|Material Design-like interface|
|Seamless updates thanks to Angular CLI|
Companies using Angular
- General Motors
React vs Angular: Head-to-head
|Compatibility||Full backward compatibility||Updates needed|
|Data binding||Both one-way and two-way bindings||Both one-way and two-way bindings|
|DOM||Virtual DOM||Real DOM|
React vs Angular: Comparison
Building mobile apps: React Native vs NativeScript
Choosing React allows you to use React Native to build truly native and cross-platform mobile applications. While RN uses a bit different syntax than React does, it’s relatively easy to learn it if you are already familiar with React. With React Native, you can create components and bind them in Objective-C, Java or Swift code.
When it comes to the performance of both applications, if they are well-written, the difference will be hard to notice.
Both React and Angular are using both one-way and two-way data bindings. Two-way data binding means that whenever you change any element of the interface, your model state changes automatically, too.
One way data binding, on the other hand, renders the change in the interface model only after the model state is updated first. And whenever you change the UI element, the model state stays the same with no changes.
So, in the case of data binding, it seems like a draw because one-way data binding is preferred.
Since React is a lightweight UI library, it’s much easier to learn than Angular. A list of things you have to absorb is quite short: JSX, a router library and state management library. Also, it’s necessary to have knowledge of writing components, managing internal state and using props.
Angular is not a library – it’s a fully-fledged MVC framework. Because of that, a list of things to learn is much longer than in the case of React.js:
- Dependency Injection
And that’s just a start.
The popularity of any particular programming language or web technology can be a great source of information – especially if such popularity is measured objectively and over time. Looking at these stats will help you with gathering answers to questions like:
- Is there (and will be) demand for this technology?
- Will it be easy to find and hire developers?
- Is it something worth checking or just a waste of time?
To determine the popularity of React and Angular, I checked Github, Google Trends, and Stack Overflow Annual Survey.
Since 2019, React.js lost its first place to ASP.NET Core, but it’s still at the top. Angular, on the other hand, stayed in the middle.
React on GitHub
Angular on GitHub
React is using a virtual DOM, which means it doesn’t have to update all the HTML. He is just looking for the differences between the current and the old HTML and updating it accordingly.
Angular is using real DOM, which means it is going through the entire structure of HTML to find what there is to be changed and “mutate” the tree to apply changes.
React Concurrent Mode
According to official React’s website, “Concurrent Mode is a set of new features that help React apps stay responsive and adjust to the user’s device capabilities and network speed”.
However, they are still experimental and not a part of stable React release. Developers can try them in an experimental build.
A while ago (with v16 version) React changed its engine elevating the speed from “just fast” to “blazingly fast”.
More than that, React Fiber enables the priority-based update system, so you can fine-tune your renderings to make sure the most critical updates are done first. Also, you can pause and start your work at will.
As some kind of response to React Fiber, Ivy is a complete rewrite of the compiler so Angular developers can:
- Achieve faster build times
- Get smaller build sizes
- Unlock new features like lazy loading of components instead of modules
Angular is using templates based on an extended version of HTML with Angular directives. You will also have to learn a specific syntax.
Angular uses Jasmine, which outcome is considered by many as one of the hardest to read and too complicated.
If you are still not sure about choosing between React and Angular