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May 05, 2017

The Best New Feature of Angular 4

4 mins read

A team of Excellians recently attended ng-conf 2017 in Salt Lake City, UT, the premiere meeting of Google, Microsoft, open-source and community leaders for the Angular and AngularJS Projects.


Angular 1.x is now called AngularJS and has 1,000,000+ active developers still using it by Google’s accounting. This number is likely the peak for the revolutionary, but troubled, web framework. AngularJS was never designed to be as capable as it is and used at the large scope and scale it has been utilized by developers. It was inevitable for the framework to plateau.

Many new projects starting today still leverage AngularJS, instead of the new version of Angular, because of vast architectural, conceptual and technological changes. These changes are for the better, mind you, but it is expensive to train developers and it is difficult to have to learn a brand-new framework.


The new versions of Angular are now simply called, Angular – and for good reason. Version 2, first announced in late 2014, finally released in late 2016, marks the beginning of a new platform, not merely a browser bound framework. With Angular you can target browser, mobile (Ionic), desktop (Electron), and server-rendered (Universal) apps.

Angular 4 was released on March 2017 only 6 months after version 2. Version 3 was notably skipped, because of internal component versions falling out of sync due to semantic versioning with semver.

Predictability and Timeliness

The Unix world has been using odd-even version numbers to distinguish between experimental and stable versions of software and protocols since, well, forever. This is why, you know about IPv4 and IPv6, but never heard of IPv5.

Node.js, the popular and dependable server-side JavaScript execution framework, switched to a similar release cycle in 2015, where major releases happen every 6 months with breaking changes and odd numbered versions come with useful new features that a vocal minority of the user base leverage, battle-test and affect the final feature set for the next even number release.

Even numbered releases are marked as long-term support (LTS) versions that are guaranteed to receive non-breaking features and performance improvements for a year and critical security patches 18 months after initial release. This release cadence ensures that the community is happy with cutting edge features and enterprises can rely on Node in production due to its predictable release and support windows.

Tl;dr – you deploy Node LTS on your server and you move on. Read more about why I thought 2016 was the year of Node shined.

The Best Feature

At ng-conf, Igor Minar, the lead of the Angular project, announced Angular 4 is now in LTS until October 2018. This is an unprecedented move in the ever-changing browser front-end framework space.

What does this mean for you?

  • Developers & Managers: Angular is here to stay, so you should be investing your time, attention and money in learning it – even if you’re current in love with some other framework.
  • Decision Makers (CIOs, CTOs, etc.): Plan to begin your transition to Angular 4 in the next 6 months. It’ll be an investment you’ll be able to explain to business minded people and your investment will pay dividends for many years to come, long after the initial LTS windows expires, with graceful upgrade paths to Angular 5 and beyond.

Next Steps

Check out my 6-part blog series on Building Scalable and Beautiful AngularJS Apps using Angular 1.5, AngularJS Material, ngComponentRouter and browserify to build apps that are architected like the Angular platform apps, so that your team can leverage their existing skills and be introduced to the new concepts of Angular. Once you and your team become familiar with the concepts, it’ll be much easier to switch to the new Angular platform.

Otherwise, head over to and begin your learning process today.

But Wait There’s More

Stay tuned for these blogs and more from ng-conf 2017 by the ExcellaJS team:

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