TVOKids iPhone app launches

Based on kindergarten curriculum

TORONTO -- iPhone applications are catching on with Canadian government-funded producers.

TVO, the Ontario provincial government's educational content producer, unveiled a preschool word-matching iPhone application from its TVOKids kids programming block and online site.

The "Melvin's Marvellous Words" application, produced by TVO and zinc Roe Design, is based on TVO's Ontario kindergarten curriculum and aims to help pre-schoolers learn to read.

TVO is North America's largest producer of educational TV programming and online product.

The iPhone application from TVO also follows the National Film Board of Canada, Canada's publicly funded filmmaker, in October launching an iPhone application to stream its documentaries, cartoons and trailers.

And Telefilm Canada, the federal government's film financier, is pouring dollars into the production of homegrown games and other applications available online, on the iPod Touch/iPhone and on personal computers as Canada shifts from traditional media to a clickable culture.

The rollout of government-funded online applications also follows Rogers Communications, the country's largest mobile and cable TV provider, losing its exclusive deal with Apple to market the smartphone to Canadians.

Bell Canada and Telus, Canada's two-biggest phone companies, began selling the iPhone in November after they upgraded their networks and negotiated their own contracts with Apple.
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