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Potential Angular 18 Features and Trends

Back in November, the Angular team released Angular 17, the newest version of the web framework. We published an article back then outlining the new features available, and since then, we’ve seen the release of v17.1 and v17.2. However, we’re also coming up on Angular 18 soon, and with that will come several new features and improvements.

Though Angular hasn’t put out an official list of the features to come in v18, they have talked about several of the features that they’ve been working on, from improvements to deferred loading (which came out with v17) to more scalable micro frontend architectures. We expect to hear more in the coming months, being that the scheduled release for v18 is May 20th, but until then, we’ll talk about some of the features that we think will be coming in the next version based on what we already know.

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Application Optimization

As web-based applications become more popular, application optimization becomes a more important issue; when serving content to users, developers want their applications to deliver the content quickly with minimal load times. Though we don’t know the exact improvements that this entails, there have been several points that the Angular team has made on their roadmaps page that we’ll go over.

Improved Change Detection with New Reactivity Model

In previous versions of Angular, the framework tracked state changes through the use of Zone.js. However, with the release of v17, the team has since implemented Angular Signals in the developer preview. This allows developers to use Signals instead of Zone.js to monitor their applications states.

In the future, Signals will implement signal-based inputs and queries.

Deferred Loading

The next iteration of lazy loading, deferrable loading, was also implemented in v17. The idea behind deferred loading is that developers can use a single line of code to defer the loading of select dependencies within a component template.

The feature is not currently considered stable by the team, being available only with developer preview, but the team is working to make this a stable feature of Angular.

Default Hybrid Rendering

We’re familiar with the costs and benefits of server-side rendering versus client-side rendering. Still, the Angular team is working on enabling hybrid rendering capabilities by default on new projects.

Hybrid rendering aims to take the best of both worlds, the speed of serving your site from the server and the quickness of updates on the client side, and bring them together into this hybrid rendering model. This will allow developers to make sure that their sites and applications are indexable by search engines, as well as allow for seamless user interaction with the application.

Modernized Unit Test Tooling

Back in Angular v12, the team improved the unit testing experience by replacing Protractor with more modern alternatives, such as Cypress and NightWatch. Since then, the team has decided that they want to focus on improving and modernizing ng test to improve Angular’s unit testing experience.

The team has since introduced Jest support, as well as a switch from Karma to the Web Test Runner, so expect to see more improvements in Angular’s unit testing with newer versions of the framework.

Component Accessibility

The Angular team is currently in the process of evaluating Angular Material against some of the more common accessibility standards, such as WCAG. When this process is complete, expect to see improvements in user accessibility in the framework.

Final Notes

After seeing some of the updates that the team is working on, we're excited about the release of Angular 18. If these roadmap features are implemented, it will help improve the speed at which developers serve content to their users, as well as improve accessibility and testing. While some of these features may not be compatible with previous versions of the framework, they should improve an array of existing applications and offer more dynamic solutions to the problems that developers encounter when working with Angular.

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