The popular Safari alternative, Opera Mini Web Browser (free), has recently been updated. Now, the application is universal – meaning it’ll run natively on the iPad, as well as the iPhone and iPod touch. Furthermore, a variety of other features have been added to the app, including a new design and support for the Retina display.

As outlined in the app’s release notes, changes made in the update include:

  • Updated design with a fresh new look and feel
  • Super smooth pinch-to-zoom and panning
  • Support for iPhone 4 retina display, iPad, and iPad 2 devices
  • Direct share on Facebook, Twitter, and My Opera
  • Open new page in background tab
  • Improved international font support for Arabic, Chinese, Vietnamese, and other non-latin languages

It’s definitely great news that iPad owners can take advantage of Opera Mini. The app itself is a great Safari alternative, and promises to perform up to six times faster than Apple’s own iOS browser. Here’s a complete list of features, again detailed in Opera Mini‘s release notes:

  • Speed: Up to 6 times faster browsing, especially when on slower or crowded networks
  • Data Savings: Compress up to 90% of data traffic
  • Speed Dial: Get to your favorite Web sites with a single tap
  • Visual Tabs: See all your open Web pages and quickly switch between them
  • Opera Link: Synchronize your bookmarks and Speed Dial with a Desktop PC or other mobile phone

Currently, the universal Opera Mini Web Browser (version 6.0) is available to download in the App Store for free. Check out the update, and let us know your thoughts in the comments.