Angular vs React – Which to Choose for Your App?

Ready to start a new web application project and unsure of which technology to use to build it? Two popular options are React (or ReactJS) and Angular. To get a closer look at the strengths of each of these technologies we recently sat down with an Aptera developer who works in each of these every day. You can hear more from software developer Rob Fahl and senior software developer Ben Bakle in this video and then read on for more comparison!

Angular

Angular is a Typescript based framework that is built and supported by Google. It’s most often used in larger, enterprise systems and maintains its own libraries for app development. As a framework, Angular has a set method to follow for development with everything you need readily contained within itself. This self-sufficiency can be seen as a pro or a con. Some developers like that Angular is a “one-stop-shop,” while others prefer more flexibility. Angular can also be seen as having a steep learning curve, because it’s all self-contained so you might feel like you need to learn everything at once.

The Angular framework is maintained and updated by Google, so you can trust that it’s being well looked after and updated frequently.

React

On the other hand, React is an open-source JavaScript library that was originally developed by and for Facebook. React is much more minimalistic than Angular, so you can go out and look for packages to import to build your application. Many developers prefer this component-based model, as it seems like the barrier to entry is lower. You can learn one piece at a time as you develop your React app.

Without an overarching system like Angular, updating your React app takes a little more effort, as each third-party component used will need to update individually. React has a large developer community following, though, which keeps its packages up to date and the Internet is full of resources for React development.

Which to Choose for Your App?

Deciding which is best for your business will come down to what type of app you’re working with and the development staff at your disposal. For example, if you want to update an older, legacy system, React is generally better suited for that. Angular comes with a large (90-500kb) base package and can be cumbersome for some systems. As a lighter, nimbler tool, React will more easily fit into an existing architecture. Similarly, if you want to have a small application, React would be a better bet. Angular is well suited for new, greenfield development and for larger, enterprise scale applications.

At the end of the day, the Angular vs. React debate is similar to the choice between Apple and Android. They’re always numbers one and two in popularity (currently with React first and Angular second) and a lot of the choice just comes down to preference. Most developers specialize in one or the other, so if you go with what your team knows how to use, you can’t really go wrong!

Looking to outsource development of an Angular or React application? A high-performing team from Aptera might be a good fit. Learn more about how we work, what we build, and how to get started on a partnership.

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Nikki Dent

Nikki Dent

Nikki is a technical copywriter for Aptera. With a bachelor’s degree in writing from Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Ind., she has been honing her craft of marketing copywriting for the past five years. In her role at Aptera, Nikki enjoys learning and writing about the technology and strategy at work across the company.

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