I would like a clarification of this too. This aritlce is unhelpful on the point: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5594?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US The new user manual iBooks for iPad and iPhone are also not detailed enough to discuss this setting.
Pappasbike, where did you find that reference?
From what you've said, and a little more searching, I suspect the setting may be related to the new Hotspot 2.0 ("Passpoint") initiative:
- http://arstechnica.com/apple/2013/06/ios-7-will-hop-from-one-wi-fi-hotspot-to-an other-no-password-needed/
- http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/06/11/ios-7-beta-hotspot-20-support-will-lea d-to-hassle-free-wi-fi-access
- "Wi-Fi HotSpot 2.0: One of the more-technical terms on iOS 7’s additional features slide, Wi-Fi HotSpot 2.0 automatically seeks out Wi-Fi subscriber services (for instance, AT&T’s hotspot network for an AT&T iPhone subscriber) and joins them when you’re in the area. In theory, this feature should provide you with faster Internet access and fewer bandwidth constraints.": http://www.macworld.com/article/2041306/27-new-ios-7-features-apple-didnt-talk-a bout.html
So, if I'm right, the setting is related to Apple building a crowd-sourced database of HotSpot 2.0/Passpoint access points/locations. Since I'm not liking the battery drain of iOS 7 as it is, this is staying off for me for now.
I found the reference on everythingicafe.com. I also found an older article regarding both Google's and Apple's collecting data on wifi networks to be able to obtain your location whether your gps is on or not. Not sure what all that means but I always assume that if I have my phone with me I'm being tracked by someone anonymously or not.
Ah, I found the reference (here), thanks.
I think the other thing you refer to is different. Apple (and Google, and before them Skyhook, etc.) have been building crowd-sourced databases of Wi-Fi access points for years, for the purpose you mention: to assist in determining your location without GPS. Apple continues to says that the iPhone does this whenever you have Location Services turned on (i.e., it appears no other setting/switch is involved). That's simply part of the bargain: we tell you where you are and in return you tell us what cell towers, Wi-Fi APs, etc., are around you. See this paragraph near the bottom of http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5594?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US:
Crowd-sourced Wi-Fi and cellular Location Services
If Location Services is on, your device will periodically send the geo-tagged locations of nearby Wi-Fi hotspots and cell towers in an anonymous and encrypted form to Apple to augment Apple's crowd-sourced database of Wi-Fi hotspot and cell tower locations. In addition, if you're traveling (for example, in a car) and Location Services is on, a GPS-enabled iOS device will also periodically send GPS locations and travel speed information in an anonymous and encrypted form to Apple to be used for building up Apple's crowd-sourced road traffic database. The crowd-sourced location data gathered by Apple doesn't personally identify you.
That appears to be a separate thing from the new setting we're discussing here.