AngularJS vs. Angular: Choose the Best for Your Needs

8 min read
Aug 30, 2021
AngularJS vs. Angular: Choose the Best for Your Needs
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What are Angular and AngularJS? They are two very popular web application development frameworks. They offer very different features, and the general consideration of the best choice for your needs would be determined by your goals and expectations for that project.

Here, we take a closer look at both AngularJS and Angular to help you determine the right one for your application. You would see that the difference between AngularJS and Angular is quite obvious, despite their similar names and origins.

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What Is Angular?

Angular is an open-source web application framework. It was developed by Google and initially released in 2016. Yet, the real story of Angular is more interesting, and it is understandable how people get confused. Particularly, many people don’t understand what makes the Angular and AngularJS difference.

Clearly, AngularJS is the original web framework released by Google in 2010 and known as Angular 1.x. It is based on JavaScript. For version 2 of AngularJS, the team at Google rewrote the entire code. This second version was based on TypeScript.

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However, what created the AngularJS vs. Angular dichotomy is that the team decided to maintain both as separate frameworks. And so Angular 1.x became AngularJS, while Angular 2 and other versions afterwards (current version is 12) are known simply as Angular.

The newer Angular has evolved into an intuitive framework, not just for building intuitive web applications, but for cross-platform development. It has introduced more modern features with more innovative functionalities. If you want to build a mobile app with this framework, ProCoders enables companies to hire app developers.

Main Features

  • Angular Command Line Interface (CLI) is a tool that limits dependence on external resources. Using Angular CLI saves time on configuring dependencies and deploying your program.
  • TypeScript: its preeminent language is TypeScript, an upgrade to legacy JavaScript that provides better static typing and cleaner code organization.
  • Cross-platform development: it supports native mobile development that enables cross-platform development. More so, it enables developers to build Progressive Web Apps (PWAs).
  • Templates: Angular offers faster code generation by transforming rich template syntax into optimized code. Basically, it ‘assists’ developers to write code so that programming becomes less drudgery.
  • Component-Based Architecture: Angular heavily relies on components. Each component has its own HTML template that declares what renders on the page, a Typescript class that defines behavior, and a CSS selector that defines how the component is used in a template.

What Is AngularJS?

As explained in the previous section, AngularJS is the legacy version. It was built on the idea of declarative programming as well as model-view-controller (MVC) architecture. AngularJS is in long-term support (LTS) and its end of life is scheduled for December 31, 2021. In fact, the last updated version (1.8.2) was released last year.

However, some developers still find the framework worth using because of certain features that differentiate it from its more modern iterations and that make it optimized for particular aspects of web development. So, it is still cool to hire web developers skilled in this framework.

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Main Features

  • MVC: the codebase is divided into three sections. The sections are model, view, and controller (MVC). This architectural structure provides intuitive code organization.
  • Two-way data binding: this allows a developer to demonstrate the effects of their code changes in real-time. It basically synchronizes the output of the ‘model’ and the ‘view’ aspects.
  • POJO: it uses plain old JavaScript objects (POJO). This makes it easy to write, test, and deploy code, even across all kinds of browsers.
  • Testability: AngularJS was built with testability in mind. This happens as it leverages dependency injection (declarative code description). It uses a unit-testing framework called Karma.
  • Directives: it extends the functionality of HTML via ‘directives’. Directives specify the attributes of DOM elements. This allows for building more powerful applications.

Key Differences Between Angular and AngularJS

Architecture

Angular

Angular’s architecture is called component-based architecture. This architecture is so-named due to the independence of components. Each component has a unique structure and can be reused separately even though in the codebase, multiple components must interact. This makes a difference in Angular vs. AngularJS performance.

angular is better then angularJS

AngularJS

AngularJS is built on MVC architecture (model-view-controller), a very early standard for developing web applications. All three terms (model, view, and controller) are considered aspects of a code so that you can organize codebase sections into separate functions. While MVC splits the overall code into sections, Angular’s CBA defines each aspect by components, so that each section of the code, technically, has its own ‘MVC’

Language

Angular

Perhaps the programming language of each framework is the most prominent difference between Angular and AngularJS. The former is based on TypeScript, an object-oriented programming language based on JavaScript. Being the more modern language, you can hire TypeScript developers to handle larger projects more efficiently.

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AngularJS

From its name, AngularJS, it is obvious that this is built on legacy JavaScript, which is among the top 3 programming languages even in 2021. JavaScript is a ubiquitous programming language. It works on any browser. Unlike TypeScript, JavaScript code has no need for compilation thus making it easier and faster to deploy apps, although JavaScript can mainly handle small scripts, not large projects.

Structure

Angular

Angular is popular for its adoption of two-way data binding. That is, users can automatically display the effects of their code on the application interface in real-time. In Angular, though, as against AngularJS, there is no explicit implementation of two-way data binding. It simply happens with a combination of event binding and property binding.

AngularJS

AngularJS also uses two-way data binding, but its performance is not convincing because of the digest cycle concept. There was no ultimate authority on data binding between the DOM and the model (of the MVC structure). So, without an agreement before both, a loop is triggered which somehow introduced an error code. This was called dirty checking.

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Pros and Cons of AngularJS and Angular

AngularJS

Pros

  • Smaller codebase.
  • Built with unit testing in mind and it receives frequent testing updates.
  • JavaScript has a wider spread than TypeScript. Almost every developer has known JavaScript and HTML since they started learning to code. Almost every company wants to hire JavaScript developers.

Cons

  • AngularJS was created for designers. So it is not as developer-friendly as Angular is.
  • Impossible to build SEO-optimised web applications without backend HTML rendering.
  • Problem with scale. Application performance becomes less sustainable as the codebase increases and becomes more complex.

Angular

Pros

  • Mobile application development. This applies to both Android and iOS and native mobile, similar to core cross-platform technologies such as React Native. It can be used to develop any type of app function, even create a fitness app, as ProCoders had done.
  • Angular uses a much better-performing data binding algorithm
  • The components are independent and reusable
  • TypeScript’s static typing allows for writing cleaner code. This also improves performance
  • It automatically converts HTML and TypeScript into JavaScript. This is called Ahead-of-Time (AOT) compilation. The main benefit here is faster browser rendering.

Cons

  • TypeScript is less popular, more challenging to learn than the far more widely known JavaScript
  • Angular applications are sometimes unnecessarily complex. They may be an inefficient solution if building small, basic applications

When to Choose AngularJS

How do you choose between AngularJS or Angular? AngularJS is obviously the older version. That’s discouraging enough. More so, it is coming to the end of its life at the close of the year. It is understandable why many developers would not want to use it. However, if the choice of a web development framework comes down to between AngularJS and Angular, must you absolutely choose the latter? Well, it depends.

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In fact, even React and Vue are more efficient at building small apps. More so, Angular is more progressive than AngularJS. Therefore, only the best options are available to our clients. AngularJS can definitely not be listed among the best. However, Angular can be so cumbersome to that it becomes an inefficient solution if you are programming small applications. In any case, AngularJS can be the more cost-optimised option in some cases.

When Angular is a Better Choice?

The simple answer is that Angular is the better choice, as long as the other option is AngularJS. Whether it is more or less suitable for particular applications is a different matter. Most applications today are built to scale, and so there is a better long-term reward if you overlook the initial inefficiency of Angular in building small apps.

Indeed, you can later have AngularJS to Angular migration, but that’s the long road. It is better to adopt a more modern solution from the get-go. Angular is more future-proof since its support continues, and it also continues to receive new features. More so, to build cross-platform mobile apps, you have no choice but to use Angular since AngularJS lacks mobile support. Popular apps built on Angular include Gmail, PayPal, Upwork, etc.

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Overall, Angular ensures a more productive development process and that ultimately means that it is more cost-effective. Really, when you weigh the pros and cons of each, Angular comes out tops in all the major factors.

F. A. Q.
What is the difference between AngularJS and Angular?

Although both are Google web development frameworks, the main difference between Angular and AngularJS is that they offer different solutions to the same problem: building user interfaces. AngularJS makes it possible for you to build websites with fewer lines of code than other frameworks. Angular, on the other hand, allows you to create efficient cross-platform software without the need for additional dependencies.

Should you use AngularJS or Angular?

AngularJS is efficient at building small apps but it runs into problems when it is time to scale, building complex applications. However, Angular is the better choice, as long as the other option is AngularJS. It is better to use the more modern solution from the get-go. Angular is more future-proof since its support continues and it also continues to receive new features.

What are the main challenges of AngularJS and Angular?

AngularJS is in long-term support (LTS) and its end of life is scheduled for December 31, 2021. In fact, the last updated version (1.8.2) was released last year. On the other hand, Angular’s main challenge is that its applications can be unnecessarily complex and it can be an inefficient solution if building small, basic applications.

Conclusion

AngularJS and Angular are two Google web frameworks that offer different solutions to the same problem: building user interfaces. AngularJS enables developers to build powerful and feature-rich websites with a few lines of code. Angular, on the other hand, is an efficient cross-platform software development framework that does without additional dependencies. If you know what your project needs, then there is no real Angular vs. AngularJS debate for you; simply use the one best suited for your project.

However, whether you are using AngularJS or Angular in building your next app, or you plan to migrate an existing app from one to the other, contact ProCoders for excellent service. One of the ways to reduce cost in development is by outsourcing your projects to an offshore development team. At ProCoders, we handpick our developers based on their skills and experience and we bring them together to form high-powered teams that solve clients’ challenges. Contact ProCoders today.

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