People familiar with Apple’s plans tell me that when its new iOS 6 software becomes widely available this fall, podcasts will have their own app, where users will be able to discover, download and play them on mobile devices. Users who access iTunes via laptop and desktop machines will still find them in that version of iTunes, though.
I’m hoping that Apple will take this opportunity to add useful features, such as automatic downloading of new episodes, that third-party podcast clients have had for years.
This will probably trigger a handful of “[podcast app] is getting Sherlocked!” stories from the tech press. Believe me, good podcast apps will be fine. (My preferred client is Downcast.) Apple will never add as many features as the better third-party clients, and large segments of the market will always want things done differently than Apple’s choices.