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I have my application completed with HTML/CSS/JS. I was actually able to release it on Android already. I am running into an issue trying to get the app icon on the phones (once installed) to appear. The version I released on Android still has the default logo and iOS won't even allow me to release it.
I noticed the info in the documentation for Phonegap but I feel as though it is oriented as more of a guideline for people that know what they are doing instead of instructions for those of us that don't. When I tried to follow what it said I released the Android version and it crashed my phone. I definitely did something wrong. I reverted back until I can figure out my next moves.
Some things that confused me are:
1) There are multiple config files. One in the root folder, one in platforms\browser\ folder.
I don't really understand which one is the one I need to be working with. Also why are the other ones there?
There is a platform-specific config.xml file for every platform in your project. This is managed automatically by the Cordova / PhoneGap CLIs. You should not normally need to make changes to this file (nor is it safe to do so, since changes may not persist through your next build).
You should only be worrying about the config.xml file in your project's root directory.
2) There are multiple versions of my html documents. One in www\ folder and one in platforms\browser\www\ folder.
I don't really understand why these duplicate and what to do here.
Your WWW files are also duplicate for every platform your app supports. This is because every platform is technically its own project, and so needs to reference your WWW files within the project. As with the config.xml file, you should only worry about your top level files; the CLIs take care of the rest (on prepare/compile/build/run/emulate/etc.)
3) There are a couple things I am reading about places to put the icons.
One place says root folder.
One says platforms\browser\img\
One says platforms\browser\res\icon\ ... then the individual OS folders.
Where are you reading that? Can you share a link?
If you are using the Cordova project structure (config.xml in root, next to www/) you will typically put your icons and splashes in a res/ folder next to your www/ folder.
4) I do not currently have a splash screen either. If I want my icon do I also HAVE to make a splash screen? Can I just do icons and maybe splash screens later?
iOS requires that you have a splash screen -- you cannot get out of app review without one. It does NOT have to be fancy, though; it can even be a solid color. I suggest using launch storyboards if you can, since you could get away with only using a single image for iOS.
5) Do the icon files need to be a specific name or do I just need to reference whatever name I pick?
Technically the icon files can be named whatever you like. It's suggested that you follow the naming schemes provided from the docs, though. Ultimately it's the width & height that matter. (This isn't quite true for launch storyboards on iOS -- parts of the filename DO matter.)
6) Are there any other details you think I would need to accomplish this as a complete beginner to developing apps?
It depends on what you know; definitely review the Apple Human Interface Guidelines to improve your chances of approval, and review Google's Material Design documentation as well (lots of good stuff for building good UIs).
Thank you everyone for your time. I appreciate these forums as a great source of information and advice. Thank you in advance and I look forward to hearing from anyone.