Google's Igor Minar said at the recent NG-BE 2016 Angular conference in Belgium that Google will jump from version 2 to version 4 so that the number of the upgrades correlates with the Angular version 4 router planned for usage with the release.
Minar, in fact, laid out a roadmap that has eight beta releases of Angular 4 coming out between December and February, followed by two release candidates in February and the general release on March 1. However, Minar cautioned against getting too hung up on numbers and advised that the framework simply be called "Angular" anyway.
"Let's not call it AngularJS, let's not call it Angular 2," he said, "because as we are releasing more and more of these versions. It's going to be super confusing for everybody."
Tentative Release Schedule
The fact that breaking changes will arrive, doesn’t mean they will arrive every other week. The Angular team committed to time-based releases that occur in three cycles:
Patch releases every week.
Three monthly minor releases after each major release.
A major release with easy-to-migrate-over breaking changes every six months.
Angular is on an aggressive schedule that would have Angular 5 arriving in September or October of 2017, followed in six months by Angular 6, with Angular 7 coming six months later in September or October 2018. The next three months will be dedicated to finalizing Angular 4.0.0.
Google's goals for Angular 4 are to be as backward-compatible with Angular 2 as possible and to improve compiler error messages. In November, Google talked about the next version of Angular, then known as version 3, emphasizing improvements in tooling as well as reduced code generation.
Angular's upgrade plan also includes moving to TypeScript 2.1 as a baseline, away from TypeScript 1.8. While this means there are breaking changes, Minar was reassuring, saying:
"It's not going to be a big deal. We did these migrations across the whole Google and it was quite trivial, but it does require [some interventions]."
Earlier this month, Google released Angular 2.3, a minor upgrade featuring Angular Language Service, which is designed to integrate with IDEs and provide type completion and error-checking with Angular Templates.
Object inheritance for components is featured, as well. Angular 2.2 arrived in November, featuring ahead-of-time compilation compatibility.