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(Credit: Screenshot by Download.com)

Hanging out with friends in the digital era can sometimes mean sitting side by side, scrolling through your phones in silence and occasionally sharing a funny meme or video you've found.

If doing nothing in person isn't an option, the Squad app (download for iOS) takes video chat to the next level. Instead of just seeing each other's faces, the app lets you also screen share.

When you use Squad, you can have a video chat with up to six people. The app's ability to swap to the phone screen takes a bit of the pressure off of having to stare at each other and think of something to say.

SEE: Social media and chat apps accounted for 50 percent of our app time in 2018

While the app will be fun for friends to kill time, it could also have value to others. Families or friends who live far apart can check in on each other, and classmates can more easily collaborate on a project.

There seem to be limitless possibilities to what could be done with Squad. With screen sharing, you can shop together, look at photos and watch videos. While you can do these things on social media or in person, Squad will present a novelty for some and a sense of normalcy, perhaps, for others.

"From the beginning, our company's mission has been to reduce loneliness by building deeper connections and more empathy between people," Squad said on its website.

Allowing screen-sharing is intimate, though, and users should consider possible negative effects on their privacy. If you don't know the person you're sharing your screen with, it's possible they could screenshot something you don't want.

Squad doesn't allow you to download videos and is considering adding screenshot alerts, like Snapchat, according to TechCrunch.

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Takeaways

  1. Squad app takes video chat to the next level. Instead of just seeing each other's faces, the app lets you also screen share.
  2. While the app will be fun for friends to kill time, it could also have value to others. Families or friends who live far apart can take part or classmates can more easily collaborate on a project.

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Shelby is an Associate Writer for CNET's Download.com. She served as Editor in Chief for the Louisville Cardinal newspaper at the University of Louisville. She interned as Creative Non-Fiction Editor for Miracle Monocle literary magazine. Her work appears in Glass Mountain Magazine, Bookends Review, Soundings East, and on Louisville.com. Her cat, Puck, is the best cat ever.