According to the StackOverflow Developer Survey 2018, Angular is the second most frequently used technology in the Frameworks, Libraries and Other Technologies. Here Angular includes both AngularJS and Angular. 36.9% of the engineers surveyed accepted using AngularJS or Angular 2+ to create impressive user interfaces.
However, the same survey also had 46% of respondents saying that Angular was one of the most dreaded frameworks. In this blog, we will look at the Angular vs AngularJS debate that has been dividing the developer community since the release of Angular 2 in 2016.
Whether you are a software engineer looking to diversify into web development domain or a business looking to expand its footprints through the launch of applications, the AngularJS vs Angular debate must be of interest. Without further ado, let us dive into it.
Angular vs AngularJS: History of Angular Versions
Google released AngularJS or Angular 1 in 2010. It garnered immediate popularity and support because now the static HTML pages could be turned interactive using AngularJS. However, soon, other frameworks were released, which began highlighting the drawbacks of AngularJS framework.
After Angular 2, Angular 4, 5, 6 and 7 have made their appearances. Of these, Angular 4 is the most popular version and backward compatible too.
Angular vs AngularJS: Key Differences
Angular 2 was a paradigm shift from AngularJS because not just the language but the basic architecture and approach to data binding had been changed. Still, both AngularJS and Angular continue to be used by programmers and web developers according to their requirement.
Let us look at the key differentiating factors in Angular vs AngularJS:
AngularJS supports the MVC or Model View Controller architecture. You put the business logic in the model, the desired output in the controller and Angular does all the processing to derive that output. The model pipelines are automatically generated by AngularJS.
By contrast, components and directives form the building block of Angular. Components are nothing but directives with a predefined template. They provide a modern structure to the applications, making it easier to create and maintain larger applications.
3. Dependency Injection (DI)
Both AngularJS and Angular use of dependency injection but the way they do are completely different. In AngularJS DI is injected into various link functions, controller functions, and directive definitions. On the other hand, Angular implements a hierarchical dependency injection system using declarations, constructor functions, and providers.
4. Angular CLI
Angular 2+ ship with their own command-line interface or CLI. It is used for generating components, services, etc. and even complete projects quickly and efficiently. You can easily generate different versions of the same project for different platforms with dynamic type checking, linting, etc. AngularJS does not have a CLI of its own.
5. Expression Syntax
When it comes to dealing with data binding, Angular is more intuitive than AngularJS. An AngularJS developer must remember the correct ng directive for binding a property or an event. In the case of Angular, the language uses () for event binding and  for property binding.
Angular is much faster than AngularJS. In fact, developers claim that if built correctly Angular applications can be up to five times faster than AngularJS applications.
Two-way binding, which made the original Angular JS popular among web developers has proved to be its undoing as more and more complex applications are being developed using it. To ensure and implement two-way binding, AngularJS keeps checking each scoped variable with its previous value using a digest cycle. The running of this digest cycle is random and hence as the size of the program grows, the checking can go on infinitely, impacting application performance.
In contrast, Angular has a flux architecture where change detection is done through unidirectional data flow, making applications much faster.
7. Mobile Support
AngularJS does not provide mobile development support but Angular does. This renders AngularJS a bit antediluvian in this age of mobile-first computing.
Angular vs AngularJS: Advantages and Disadvantages
Angular and Angular JS have advantages and disadvantages of their own. Here we list damn so that you can make your own choices depending upon your specific requirements.
- Angular is at least five times faster than AngularJS due to a much better algorithm for data binding and a component-based architecture.
- The components of an Angular application are quite independent and self-sufficient, which makes them reusable and test friendly.
- The independent components are easier to replace, maintain and scale-up.
- Angular applications can be rendered both on browsers and mobile devices.
- Angular has inbuilt extensions for server-side rendering of applications. This enables developers to sync client and server sides of content, a huge plus for SEO.
- Angular supports lazy loading, which makes the applications faster as only those components that are needed are loaded.
- TypeScript first approach of Angular makes for cleaner code, better navigation, and high-quality product.
- The learning curve of Angular is steep as you also need to master typescript, a statically typed language. With the advent of frameworks that enable quick development, many developers are not compatible with statically typed languages.
- As Angular 2 was a complete rewrite from AngularJS, legacy systems developed using AngularJS need to be migrated, which is something many developers do not like.
- Angular is also sometimes called a verbose language because the components are managed in a very complex way.
- The command-line interface of Angular is much loved by the engineers but they also complain that its documentation is not complete.
- AngularJS two-way data binding facilitates faster and easier data binding without the intervention of the developers.
- AngularJS supports faster coding and prototyping, decreasing development times immensely.
- The MVC and MVVM architecture of AngularJS separates data from design, which makes it easier to develop and maintain complex web applications.
- Clean and organized coding makes AngularJS codes highly reusable.
- The developers must be familiar with MVC architecture to use AngularJS.
Should I choose Angular or AngularJS?
If you look at the long list of advantages of Angular, choosing Angular over AngularJS seems to make sense. However, you must not forget the steep learning curve for using Angular. If you have a fairly simple and straightforward application to develop, AngularJS can make development faster and easier. But if you are looking to develop complex applications that must be scalable, Angular should be your obvious choice.
Considering that Angular has a steep learning curve you can hire Angular developers or Angular development company to make your work easier. As a developer or a business owner, investing in Angular would be a positive step in the right direction.
Angular vs AngularJS: Final Words
When AngularJS was first released, it gained popularity among web developers because of its in-built features like two-way binding, ability to develop responsive web applications and highly responsive designs. However, its drawbacks were highlighted once other front-end development frameworks like ReactJS were launched, which had better performance. As mentioned earlier, AngularJS was rewritten into Angular 2 to provide a better alternative to the web developers.
Currently Angular provides the best alternative for building large and complex applications. The development team at Google is working towards reducing the build size of Angular applications and enhancing their performance.
Angular is the framework for the future. Google shifted to TypeScript to improve the maintainability of the code as well as the overall performance of applications. Angular now seems geared towards enterprise-level application development.
As the complexity and size of an application grows, engineers find that developing and maintaining these applications using the so-called easy to learn, deploy and maintain frameworks like ReactJS starts getting difficult. If Angular is used instead, the steep learning curve is balanced out by stability and technical support. By pledging long term support (LTS) for Angular, Google has further positioned it for the long term, scalable and resource-intensive projects.