Angular vs React

Angular and React have emerged as giants in the javascript framework world. So whats the difference between them, and when should you use them?

Quick facts

What Angular React
Developer Google Facebook
Initial Release 2009 2013
Model third party libraries eg flux/redux
Component based
Learning curve Hard Easy
Ecosystem 6,169 NPM packages
109,793 Github search results
11,069 NPM packages
58,605 Github search results
Extensibility Filters
Mobile Ionic - mature cordova cross-platform wrapper Reapp - not yet mature
React Native - using native controls for performance

When should you use them


Angular introduces more concepts and abstractions than React, so is more suited to larger applications with teams of experienced developers. The concept of a 'filter' exists in Angular to convert data from one format to another (eg from '1457819216543' to '12th Mar 2016') meaning when it comes to more complex conversions, such as when mapping data to a graph, the template developer already knows how to apply the filter. By comparison in React there would have to be an external library included in and run in the component itself.


With a much gentler learning curve, React is well suited to smaller teams with less experience, or looking to produce a prototype quickly. There are fewer structures built in to react (for example there is no custom event system ie 'onLogin') so there needs to be much greater cross-discipline communication between the javascript and template engineers. On the other hand, when a team works closely together on an application it can be produced remarkably quickly, with react forcing isolation of components much more than Angular, meaning reusing a component in another part of the site is much easier.


Use angular if you have a complex app.
Use React if you have a simple app, or need a prototype.