Blog / IT Staffing /  Angular 2 vs Angular 4 Developers. Are There Major Differences?

August 28, 2017 - Marina D

Angular 2 vs Angular 4 Developers. Are There Major Differences?

In the crowded world of JavaScript frameworks, AngularJS has always been one of the big names. This shouldn’t be at all surprising, as its development and maintenance are led by Google, one of the world’s biggest tech companies. The framework has seen tremendous growth since its release and now has 1,602 contributing developers on GitHub, the largest developer community among all frontend JavaScript frameworks. However, there are currently many versions of this technology, and one is certain to ask: What’s the difference between an AngularJS vs Angular 4 developers, or an Angular2 vs Angular 4 developers? Let’s clarify this to eliminate any confusion.

Check our article on comparison of React vs Angular, Ember vs Angular, and Aurelia vs Angular technologies.

AngularJS vs Angular 4 vs Angular 2

Angular vs Angular 4 vs Angular 2 developers

The first version of this technology, or what many refer to as Angular 1, was released in 2009 and is officially just called AngularJS. On September 2016, 2nd version was released, and it was a complete re-write of the 1st one. It’s incompatible with the first version and is formally called just Angular. This required Angular developers to undergo a major migration process if they wanted their AngularJS applications to work with Angular 2.

Then, on March 2017, the release of 4th version of this JS technology was announced. To address the confusion with naming schemes, the Angular developers team explained their versioning and releasing convention, where they adopted semantic versioning to standardize their versioning structure. This versioning scheme follows a major.minor.patch versioning number, so that a major release, a minor release, and a patch will increase the major, minor, and patch digits by 1, respectively.

Angula JS vs Angular 4 vs Angular 2 developers

Illustration of Semantic Versioning (Source)

Noticeably, the development team skipped Angular 3. The reason behind this was that the team wanted to standardize the package versions as well, and since one of the packages in the 2nd version, particularly the router package, was already in version 3.3.0, the team proceeded to version 4 so that all packages could start with version 4 as well.

Amidst all these many versions, let us look into the differences between the two latest versions, Angular 2 and Angular 4.

Angular 4 vs Angular 2

Fortunately, 4th version of this JS technology is largely backwards compatible with Angular 2, meaning Angular 2 applications will run with Angular 4 with minimal, if any, modifications. This is in contrast to Angular 2’s incompatibility with Angular 1. Nevertheless, the latest version of this technology introduced major changes from Angular 2 that merited an increase in the major version number, so let’s take a look at these differences.

Angular 2 Angular 4
Code generated by compiler Larger Smaller than Angular 2 by up to 60%
Animation packages Included in core package Separated from core package and may be excluded
Conditionals *ngIf only *ngIf and elseLarger
TitleCase pipe Not supported Supported
Angular Universal Unofficial support Official support
TypeScript compatibility Up to version 1.8 Up to version 2.2
Template source maps Not generated Generated
ES Modules Unflattened Flattened

Comparison of features introduced in Angular2 and 4

Less Code

Angular 4 developers had made major revisions to its compiler so that it generates up to 60% less code compared to that generated in second version. This significantly reduced the file sizes of applications and can result in considerably faster loading times.

Separate Animation Packages

In the 4th version of this technology, animation packages have been separated from the core package and will need to be manually imported if any animation will be used. This means that, if a developer will not be using animations, he can leave these packages out, and the resulting code will be even smaller in size.

Improved Conditionals with *ngIf/else

Angular 4 now allows developers to use an else clause after an if condition, as such:

<div *ngIf="condition; else default">
Content when condition returns true
<ng-template #default>
Content when condition is false

The above code checks the condition and renders a different component depending on the condition’s truth value.

New TitleCase Pipe

In the 4 version a new pipe called titlecase, which capitalizes the first letter of each word in the text contained, was introduced to Angular developers:

<h2>{{ 'This is a sample text' | titlecase }}</h2>

The above code will print This Is A Sample Text with the first letter of every word capitalized.

Angular Universal

With the 4th version, the development team has officially adopted Angular Universal, a project originally developed and maintained by the online developer community, which enabled applications to be rendered on the server-side. Such server-side rendering results in improved performance and better search engine optimization.

Better TypeScript Compatibility

Angular 4 now supports TypeScript 2.1 and 2.2, which introduces increased speeds and better type checking. In contrast, second version of this technology only supports until TypeScript 1.8.

Template Source Maps

With the 4th version, when the application encounters an error that originates from one of the template files, source maps are generated to help developers pinpoint the source of error.

Flat ES Modules

Angular 4 ships with flattened ECMAScript modules, which offer several advantages, including reduction the file sizes of generated bundles, increase in building, transpilation, and browser loading speeds, and helps with JavaScript code clean-up via tree shaking.

Popularity Comparison: Angular 2 vs Angular 4

Given the improvements that Angular 4 has brought over Angular 2, has it now gained the popularity that Angular 2 has achieved among developers? According to Google Trends, not quite yet.

popularity of Angular 2 vs Angular 4 among developers

Google Trends Screenshot on Popularity of Angular 4 vs Angular 2

According to the above data, the second version is still far more popular than Angular 4 in all countries, at least in terms of Google search count. This, of course, may very well be because the 4th version is very new, having only been released this year, so it has plenty of time to catch up to Angular 2’s popularity.

Issues with Angular 4


Angular 4 or Angular 2 developers

Although the 4th version of this popular technology offers several improvements over Angular 2, it is not without problems, and several known issues have been reported by developers. One known issue that has been acknowledged by the Angular developers team is Angular 4’s lack of support for TypeScript 2.0’s strictNullChecks, which does not permit null or undefined values for all data types by default. According to the development team, this issue was intentional so as to avoid breaking applications, and a fix for this issue is on its way.

Many other issues have been reported by developers via GitHub page. Some examples are:

Given that 4th version is a new version that has only been released, such issues are normal and to be expected. These issues should be ironed out as the framework matures.

Reception to Angular 4

A couple of developers, such as Zhang Yi Jiang and Adrian Gomez Llorente, have expressed some negative opinions on this technology, particularly on Angular 2. Nevertheless, many others see its potential, especially with the newer 4th version.

Web developer Pavel Gerasimov, for instance, tested the 4th version upon release and recommends developers to make the upgrade, saying that “it makes sense to do it now.” Moreover, DZone contributor Arnab Sarkar likes the fact that “Angular 4 has a gentle learning curve” from Angular 2 than going to Angular 2 from Angular 1, but notes that the learning curve from AngularJS vs Angular 4 is still steep. Senior HP UI developer Sachin Calicut also notes that the changes introduced by Angular 4 are “good for everyone involved.”

Hire Angular 4 or Angular 2 Developers Now

We have presented the main differences between Angular 2 and 4, and we have seen that the 4th version offers many benefits over the 2nd one, although it also currently has a number of issues being reported, something that’s really not surprising for such a new framework. We have seen that Angular 4 developers have some added handy tools to work with, and they may be able to optimize mobile applications more than what was possible with Angular 2, but Angular 2 developers shouldn’t have too big of a problem migrating to Angular 4 due to the latter’s backwards compatibility.

Hire Angular 2 vs Angular 4 for your project

Now that you know the differences between Angular 2 & 4 developers, it’s a good time to decide which JS developer you want to hire. Regardless of whether you’re planning to hire an Angular 4 or Angular 2 developer, we’ve got what you need at very affordable rates. We are Mobilunity, a provider of dedicated developers from Ukraine. We not only offer the most talented developers across Europe, but we also offer one of the best rates in the continent. With us, you can be sure to get your money’s full worth.

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AngularJS vs Angular 4 developer for hire


CV #2

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  • HTML (HTML5), CSS (CSS3), jQuery, JavaScript, XSLT, LESS, Sass, AngularJS/Angular 2/Angular 4, Backbone, Twitter Bootstrap


  • Developing new widgets (using Angular + RequireJS)
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