Every year Javascript (JS) is growing, eclipsing other languages as the preferred tool for building web and mobile applications. It has a vibrant ecosystem ripe with evolving and emerging frameworks. While there are many frameworks vying for developer attention, Angular and React are at the forefront. But with so much hype from proponents of each, which one should you choose for your next web or mobile project?

Angular

Google released Angular in 2010. It is a component-based, model-view-controller (MVC) framework. This makes the language highly modular, allowing extensive reuse of classes. In Angular, the two-way data binding feature helps reduce development time by allowing developers to make changes in models and views without waiting for UI elements to be rendered. To further reduce development time, developers also have access to Angular templates. The HTML-based templates allow rapid deployment of single-page sites and applications.

One challenge for new Angular developers is that it uses TypeScript. TypeScript is technically a superscript of Javascript (EC6) and is owned and maintained by Microsoft. While it has many useful features, it does take extra time to learn. Fortunately, the Angular community is very active and developers can find many helpful resources.

React

Facebook and an active community of developers maintain React. It was released in 2013 and is currently in use by Instagram, PayPal, Dropbox, the BBC, and Atlassian. Technically, React is a library and not a framework. React comes with a unique feature called the Virtual DOM, which allows developers to make changes to the code without having to update the whole view. This leads to improved performance because the Virtual Dom will only re-render the necessary parts of the page.

React uses JSX, a declarative JavaScript syntax. JSX makes for more orderly and readable code, improving the accessibility of the React framework. However, it does introduce some overhead for developers accustomed to vanilla JS. Like Angular, React comes with reusable components, comprehensive support documentation, and an active coding community.

Both React and Angular are powerful tools for crafting better web and mobile experiences. At the top level, they are both great at what they do and direct comparisons will reveal advantages to both. But in the world of software, the single most important metric is popularity and adoption. In 2013, the future belonged to Angular. However, the outlook shifted when React was introduced in May 2013. React hasn’t slowed down since, and at the time of writing this blog, it is easily the preferred development framework. If trends persist, it would be prudent to choose React for your next project.