Spark SQL - even if the SQL suffix makes automatically think about RDBMS - works well with other data sources, as even plain CSVs or JSON files. This relation would be difficult to achieve without the concept of schema.
One of powerful features of Spark SQL is dynamic generation of code. Several different layers are generated and this post explains some of them.
Even if Project Tungsten was started in Spark 1.5 and Spark's current version is 2.1 at the time of writing, it's good to know what precious this Project brought to Spark.
The use of Dataset abstraction is not a single difference between structured and unstructured data processing in Spark. Apart of that, Spark SQL uses a technique helping to get results faster.
Spark 2.0 brought some changes at API level. One of them was the merge of DataFrame with Dataset. Thanks to that the 3rd data abstraction, present yet in 1.6, was finally removed.