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 hope the app will have automatic episode downloads but I’m afraid that won’t be the case. Automatic downloads doesn’t seem like the kind of thing Apple would be interested in. But who knows, maybe Apple’s implementation will at least send you a push notification when a new episode is available.