Apple Shaking Up Mobile iTunes, Likely Prepping Standalone Podcast and iTunes U Apps for iOS 6

Several astute observers noted that podcasts were missing from the iTunes app in iOS 6 (beta), which led many to wonder if Apple was splitting out podcasts from the rest of iTunes by giving it its own app.

According to AllThingsD, sources close to Apple say that indeed, a podcast app is coming. Users will be able to use it to find and download episodes using their iOS devices, although the desktop version of iTunes keep podcasts in the fold.

An image that AppAdvice got ahold of (and a subsequent tip) also indicates that iTunes U is getting its own app, and Audiobooks may also be either getting the app treatment or will be relocated to a different section of iTunes.

Image credit: AppAdvice

The aforementioned moves--and any similar moves Apple makes with the mobile version of iTunes--will be welcome. The desktop version of the software, though powerful, is bloated, and that just doesn’t fly on mobile devices. Streamlining the functionality of the various portions of iTunes by giving each its own space makes plenty of sense.