Re: One wonders
Agreed, Tony Smith has made all sorts of assertions about performance without even waiting to check the device. Its disingenuous to pretend Apple were claiming a 2x performance leap based on moving to 64 bit. 64 bit is in the mix but they are different statements. So equally this comes across as a cheap attempt to trash the 2x performance claim by pointing out why simply a change to 64 bit architecture wouldn't bring it.
Many most of the points Tony Smith has made are correct (apart from the il informed point made about duplicate libraries being required), but it is a very selective reading. As there are general performance increases distinct from the 64 bit-ness of the device, and the effort of delivering a 64 bit versions of apps is extremely low on OSX (and will also be on iOS - in many cases will be little more than hitting compile and testing), I find it highly doubtful the user will find apps slower as compared with the iPhone 5 but the piece seems to be written as though trying to leave the impression that will be the case.
Additionally, on the selectivity of the arguments given, most memory is taken up with graphics/video data, and 64 bit does provide a significant performance benefit when dealing with such. So memory access and graphics processing, the things that are the most often encountered culprits hitting the main thread and affecting performance as perceived by the user, will be much sped up. On an average, only a comparatively small percentage of data loaded in memory is going to be inefficient as compared with 32 bit apps (which as I have said will in all probability be overtaken by clock-spead increase and other improvements in cache etc. anyway). So I expect the average app, as soon as it is compiled for 64 bit, could well be faster even if we were taking about a theoretical device where everything is the same as the iPhone 5 except that required to make it 64 bit.
To assert Apple will have coordinated the effort to make the change to 64 bit for marketing reasons (when their marketing doesn't emphasise under the hood technology anyway) and that they would undergo the upheaval of such a major shift just for a bullet point, is taking Apple cynicism to an (all too often encountered) ill justified level.
The reality is iOS has to a very large extent a shared code base with OSX (it isn't too much of a simplification to say it is basically OSX with some extrenuous stuff stripped out and the Cocoa Touch UI library added in). To make all code 64 bit too would be a healthy consolidation for Apple as well as being a good preparation for the future. There are also many other subtle considerations. One important one, it isn't just finger print scanner security that this will help, but full encrypted file system security. With 64bit it is much more feasible to ensure the whole schebang is encrypted and will have a lower impact on performance.
It's true the benefit of 64 bit is a subtle case and not in and of itself something most users should consider a feature, but there are many many strategic reasons it is good to make the move.
One thing I have noticed with Mavericks (hate the name) is that the system is far more aggressive in managing background processes to conserve battery. I suspect Apple are very much moving OSX towards the iOS appliance model. I expect we will see a RISC only version of the MacBook Air constrained to the App Store. This is something I have been worrying about because it will be a next step to sealed appliance PC's.
I very much doubt Apple will be moving entirely away from PC architecture for the pro and developer market for the foreseeable future, but I do think there will be a very big market for users who would love a MacBook Air where they can't screw it up in the same way as they find it difficult to screw up their iPads. For many people the benefits of having an to all intents and purposes virus free, virtually un-screw-uppable computing appliance, where if you drop and break it, like the iPad everything is simply restored* will be immense.
*Except for photo's, where inexplicably one of the most valued data assets people have are badly served by the otherwise excellent "1 login" restore process Apple have implemented. How can they have done such a good job for everything EXCEPT photos !!!