React vs Angular - how to use these technologies? Comparison


By Jeremy Kingsman, freelance writer.

Being the most popular programming language out there, JavaScript offers a broad set of tools to work with that can make your development process a whole lot easier. React and Angular are two popular JS libraries you may consider using when working with JavaScript. How do they work? Check our comparison!

JavaScript has been the most popular language in the development landscape since the rise of the dynamic web. Now that machine learning is gaining momentum, it's going head to head-with Python but still remains the most versatile and adaptive language out there. 

No wonder so many libraries and frameworks were created to make JS developers' life easier. React and Angular are among the most popular tools from the JavaScript suite. Are you wondering how you can benefit from them? This article will help you understand the difference between React and Angular and their potential in projects of all sizes.

React and angular - similarities

Both React and Angular are versatile tools that allow you to bring your JavaScript coding process to the next level, cutting time-to-market and enhancing productivity. By versatile, we mean that you can use them for different types of projects, from the web to desktop to mobile apps.

Angular vs React - how do they differ?

Although similar in some ways, Angular and React have various differences. Here are the main ones that may interest you from the perspective of product development and maintenance. 


At its origin, Angular is older than React, which was introduced by Facebook in 2013. Angular dates back to 2010 - however, it was released as Angular.JS, which is now an archived project. The new instance, Angular, came to the market only in 2016, having since built a solid community around it.


The essential difference between these two JS tools is that React is a library while Angular is a framework. What does it mean for your development team? It simply comes down to the fact that the framework is more comprehensive, being a complete solution for building applications that include a set of rules, structures, and tools. 

The library is much more limited, providing you with reusable code modules that can be used to perform specific tasks or solve specific problems. Library leaves your team more flexibility in terms of the direction of product development but, at the same time, provides less guidance and support.


Another difference between these two tools is the language in which they are written. React is written in JavaScript (more specifically, its modern version called ECMAScript 6), while Angular is written in TypesScript - a superset of JavaScript that includes additional features such as static typing, interfaces, and decorators. The code written in TypeScript is then compiled to JS, allowing it to run in any modern browser. TypeScript strong typing facilitates early bug detection and keeps the code as readable as possible, which reduces the necessity of refactoring and makes maintenance much easier.

Learning curve

React has a smoother learning curve than Angular considering its lower complexity and the fact that it relies on JavaScript instead of TypeScript.

React js vs Angular js - which is better?

This question is difficult to answer, as it all comes down to your needs and expectations. If you are under time pressure, it may be a better idea to pick React, considering that your developers may take some time to master the concepts of TypeScript. If you emphasize performance, React, with its virtual DOM, could be a better option than heavier Angular. However, if you prioritize scalability, Angular will be a better pick. Both tools have strengths and weaknesses - by defining your objectives, you will know which one corresponds to your needs better.

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