Mac industry thoughts are turning toward Apple's next-generation operating system, Mac OS X 10.5 'Leopard', which ships next year.

Users are becoming curious about what improvements the software will offer them, and a new Apple Insider report trickles out a few more hidden secrets from the major release.

Apple customarily builds at least 100 improvements into each release of its Unix-based OS. The latest information claims that users can look forward to file-recovery tools, Spotlight enhancements and a better Firewall in the next big cat.

File recovery will show up as a tool in Disk Utility. It will carry presets for Apple's individual iLife applications and will be able to recover files created within other applications as well. The feature is expected to link with Time Machine.

Spotlight will be able to run mathematical calculations within its search field, and will be able to scour the dictionary for word definitions.

Finally, Apple's Firewall software will show Mac users when others are attempting to access their machines.

Read more here.