The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has just issued a major update to the official NASA App for iOS.

The update delivers a number of improvements. But perhaps none is more notable than the universal support it brings to the app.

Released way back in October 2009, NASA App was optimized for iPhone and iPod touch only. But now, thanks to its latest update, the app is natively compatible with iPad as well.

To be sure, there’s already an iPad-optimized NASA app, simply called NASA App HD and released in September 2012. But I reckon that it will be removed from the App Store sooner or later in favor of the universal NASA App.

The new and universal NASA App features a new iPad edition designed to match the look and feel of its iPhone counterpart. Even so, it supports a new iPad-exclusive split-screen view for videos.

NASA App

Aside from bringing universal support, the latest update to NASA App also delivers the following improvements:

  • Our Solar System and Beyond section now on iPhone and moved to the featured section on iPad
  • New global search function from the home screen
  • Enhanced view for missions that allows better interaction and accessibility to everything related to that mission
  • Easier to use feeds menu, with one touch selection
  • Improved image browser, captions and handling of high resolution formats

Now optimized for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad, the newly updated NASA App is available now in the App Store for free.