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What's new in angular 8?

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What's new in angular 8?
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It is unarguably one of the most popular open source web application frameworks used by developers around the world. When Google released Angular in 2016, a huge number of developers migrated to the platform.

The community of Angular developers is always eagerly waiting for regular updates that the Angular team comes up with. It is smaller, faster and easier to use making the life of developers a lot easier.

Some powerful Angular 8 features that are added at many levels include the core framework, Angular Material Library and the Angular CLI. The latest version has also enabled major partner launches like NativeScript, Angular Console, @Angular/fire and StackBlitz.

In this blog, we will tell you what the latest release will bring to the table when you plan to build a web app with Angular 8.

Angular Ivy

For more than a year, the team has been talking about the Ivy renderer they are working on. Ivy will be included in the latest version as an opt-in preview. After all a preview is better than no view at all right?

Trying out the preview will tell you whether your existing applications are working well or not with Ivy.

Wait, we forgot to ask you something? Are you familiar with Ivy? Well, if the user experience of your apps is important to you then you should care about Ivy. Although the framework has made great improvements in file size and runtime as compared to its previous versions, Angular apps are usually heavy when it comes to file size and memory use.

Ivy aims to change exactly that! When compared with the current Angular view engine, Ivy has the following benefits:

Code generated by Angular compiler will be easier for humans to read and understand.

Rebuild time will be reduced

Payload size decreases, so the modern browsers will take less time to download and parse your application.

Improved template type checking, so the developers can identify the maximum number of errors during the build process so that your users don’t struggle with them.

What’s more? Ivy claims to be compatible with existing Angular applications so you can get all its benefits without making any changes in your app.

You are bound to encounter some minor hurdles though so it is recommended to try building your current Angular projects in the latest version and Ivy.

The team is always ready to help if you face unexpected errors and will guide you on what needs to be done to make it Ivy ready. Just like any other system, Ivy has its own set of drawbacks too – it is not yet fully compatible with internalization and Angular Universal support. If your app supports multiple languages and uses server side rendering, don’t expect it to work with Ivy yet.

One more trouble that the users have encountered is that Angular material isn’t compatible with Ivy. You need to consider this before upgrading to Angular’s latest version.

Additional Changes in the Framework

One of the most important Angular 8 benefits that the official team describes is ‘Differential Loading of Modern JavaScript’.

It simply means that new apps generated in Angular CLI will now have separate bundles for legacy JavaScript and modern JavaScript. It’s great news because now browsers with modern JavaScript will be able to download smaller and more efficient app bundles that load faster than before.

A backward compatibility mode has also been added to the router outlet making it easier to upgrade legacy Angular apps to modern ones.

However, till date there are a large number of legacy apps in the framework that are still serving the businesses perfectly and the users are not upgrading for a simple reason that there won’t be much ROI if they completely rewrite the app.

Angular 8 Support for Web Workers

A small but welcome feature is an improved support for bundling web workers with the CLI. It is a great news for front end developers as before web workers, our applications could only use a single thread.

There’s a catch here! Code that runs in the worker can’t be present in the same JavaScript file as the rest of your application. The improvements to web worker bundling will free you from these complications.

Angular CLI has gained another new feature called the opt-in usage sharing. It will give you an option to share or not the telemetry about your CLI usage with the Angular team. You have to praise the team for approaching the whole concept in a right way.

Support for TypeScript

Finally, Angular 8 is going to include updates to the latest versions of its dependencies. It includes tools like RxJS and TypeScript. Although it seems like a small improvement, it is a significant one as keeping up with TypeScript is great. Mainly because the TypeScript team keeps including useful new features in every release.

Before you get confused with all the technical information we have given here, let’s wrap up the blog here!

It can be rightly said that additions to the latest release are not much except inclusion of Ivy. The additions are good to have but are not necessary for most applications.

Having said that, you might be thinking whether to upgrade to Angular 8 or stick to version 7?

In most cases, the answer is yes. Since there aren’t groundbreaking changes, your applications will work the same but due to differential loading you can get better performance for free.

It is strongly suggested that you should upgrade your apps to Angular 8 so that they are ready for Ivy. Yes yes we know that right now Ivy is only opt-in preview, but the time to start checking for Ivy compatibility is right now. It is better to check right now than wait for the time when your apps completely stop working after the future releases when Ivy becomes a default and the legacy View Engine is dropped.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jigar Shah

Senior Developer

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