“Angular 1 was tightly coupled with the DOM, with the browser,” says TJ VanToll, a senior developer advocate at Telerik, a company that helps coders build mobile apps of all kinds and has made use of the earlier “alpha” version of Angular 2. “One of Angular 2’s big goals is to break that tie, to make it possible for Angular to be used in those other ecosystems.”
In certain circles, Angular 2 has been controversial. Google first announced the project in March of last year, saying it was rewriting the Angular framework with an eye towards code that runs on mobile phones. Many developers complained that the tool was too much of a departure from the original Angular, that it would be too difficult to use it with their existing sites and services. But some, including VanToll, believe that Google has made amends. “It was seen as this big breaking change. It seemed you couldn’t upgrade your apps at all,” VanToll says. “But they’ve done a lot in the recent months to speak to those concerns.”
This phenomenon is part of a much larger trend in the world of computer programming. Increasingly, new programming languages and tools are allowing a much broader range of people to build software of all kinds. Another prime example is Apple’s new Swift programming language, which began as a much easier way of building apps for the iPhone and is now expanding onto other devices, including servers. Meanwhile, Google’s Go language—which streamlines coding in other ways—is moving the other direction, from servers onto mobile devices.