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One of the big changes in Apple’s iOS 6 beta is the confounding disappearance of podcasts from the iTunes app. But we now have an idea of where they’re going.
Starting with the rollout of iOS 6 this fall, Apple plans to offer a standalone app just for podcasts, sources tell AllThingsD.
Podcasts are pre-recorded audio programs that you can listen to both on- and offline. Apple is largely responsible for taking the previously-unknown format and punting it into the mainstream, as the “pod” in its name shows.
If the report is true, Apple’s upcoming app (which will probably be named something apt like “Podcasts”) is likely to strongly resemble Listen, an Android app that lets users search, suscribe, and stream podcasts from one interface. Similar apps like Downcast and Stitcher already exist for iOS as well.
A standalone podcasts app wouldn’t be unprecedented for Apple, which has created dedicated apps for videos, music, and iBooks.
While the podcast change will greatly simplify the process of finding and subscribing to podcasts, creating a standalone app could limit the number of eyeballs hitting lesser-known podcasts. It all depends on how Apple handles it.
Either way, we’ll know in a few months.