I played with 8-bit machines (C64), I used 16-bit machines (Win 3.1), I enjoyed flat 32-bit address space (Linux).
Every time as a user (which was also means being a developer for fun or profit) I felt the need for more bits and welcomed the next wider bit architecture. Accessing to bigger memory space got easier, graphics got better and sound was a bliss after 8-bit.
However when marketing drums started to kick in for 64-bit some years ago I thought, "ok, this is Internet age, they can use this kind of power to do more calculations easier and commodity hardware manufacturers want to spread their portfolio for this kind of market".
Professionally I became a "system programmer" working for mobile devices which some what means being an "embedded programmer" as well. Working mostly on 32-bit from the start ARM architecture based products, it was a while I forgot about different architectures other than being 32-bit.
Also when ARM announced a new 64-bit architecture towards end of 2011, I read it as ARM wants to go into server market, increasing their portfolio. Which makes sense.
Now with new iPhone 5S claiming to be the first 64-bit processor ever used on a smartphone, thoughts became a little bit unsettled in my head again. Mobile devices, being the ultimate personal devices are becoming 64-bit.
So I wonder, is there something I'm missing? What does being 64-bit offers to the users including programmers?