Choosing Angular 1 Over Angular 2

Last modified: February 9, 2017

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That's right. You're reading this correctly. Angular 1 over Angular 2. Before we make the arguments for why sticking with Angular 1 may be the right choice, it's important to understand the current landscape of Angular.

Angular vs Angular 2: The Current Landscape

Angular 2 was just released in 2016. It is a complete rewrite of Angular 1 and addresses virtually every major pitfall experienced with the original. It does away with things like scopes and directives and takes a more component based approach (versus Angular 1's MVC).

Such improvements have many developers comparing Angular 2 to React.js instead. Forget Angular 1, it's now React we should be competing With it's flux architecture and change detection mechanism, Angular 2 does seem to give the highly regarded React.js a run for its money.

The Real Issue for Angular 1

To make a long story short, those that have come to love Angular 1 are starting to feel a bit forgotten. Not only has the framework been completely rewritten, it's also quickly becoming largely ignored as React.js and Angular 2 fight for the future of front end development. This makes it very hard to continue writing Angular 1, especially with its blatant issues that both aforementioned frameworks seem to have solved.

Don't Give Up On Angular 1

While any Google search on hottest javascript frameworks will tell you why Angular 1 is inferior, there are plenty of reasons to still be using Angular 1. The original Angular has been around since 2010 and is much better documented. Proponents of Angular 1 even argue that Angular 2 is 'too new' still and that not enough documentation exists to make it worth pursuing.

There's also thousands of developers currently using Angular 1. It's not going away anytime soon. Developers have become too familiar with Angular 1 to migrate existing code to a newly written framework. Such a rich community has also produced open source extensions, with thousands of custom modules/directives available for developers to improve existing pitfalls.


Angular 1 remains a perfectly fine option for app development. It's still great for building out SPAs and the major setbacks don't really become problems unless your dealing with thousands of watchers, etc. The dependency injection is still there, and the original framework uses MVC and plain old javascript to reduce the learning curve. It's not going anywhere. This is not to say that Angular 2 or React should be ignored. They still may be the best options moving forward. Just don't get down in the dumps if you're already rolling with Angular 1.


April 30, 2018
It's 2018 and the release of Angular 6 is around the corner. While the new Angular continues to gain traction, AngularJS can still be a good option depending on the complexity of your app.

Always remember that AngularJS was used successfully by many companies for years and that there are thousands of legacy AngularJS applications actively maintained today. While the performance advantage of Flux architecture and unidirectional data flow are obvious with libraries like Vue and React, AngularJS can still be preferred for it's simplicity as it does't require any preprocessing or build tools. It runs directly in the browser.

This is not to say that the new Angular isn't worth exploring. Tools like the Angular CLI have made working with Angular5+ even easier.

Other thoughts?
Jamie W
March 12, 2017
Angular 1 all the way ...
Terry Fisher
February 9, 2017
Thank you for this! It's so true that Angular 1 is still great. We use it all the time at work and I will continue using it for at least the next few years.

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