The anticipated breakup of the iOS Music app and the vast universe of podcasting content is underway, well in advance of iOS 6. Apple has released a standalone Podcasts app, combining the features of the podcasts tab in the Music app with the iTunes Store section for podcasts; it lets users stream audio or download programs for later listening and subscribe to shows on their devices.
There's a new Top Stations guide to help you find shows you like (ahem), a sleep timer to help you doze off, and social features to post favorite episodes to Twitter/Facebook/email. Syncing tools let you match up your podcasts in iTunes on your computer with your device, and you can even sync your playback position between devices to pick up where you left off.
Podcasts is on the App Store now for iOS devices running iOS 5.1 or later.
[hat tip The Next Web]