I undertand that if it have 3 vertices i use GL_TRIANGLES, if it has 4 i use GL_QUADS, but if it has 5 or more, what am i supposed to use? Is there a standard? in my internet search i haven't been able to come up with anything and samples open gl code i've found only support up to 4 vertices.
I created an object file by exporting from google sketchup and many of the faces have more than 4 verticies, is there a tool or another modeling program i can / should be using?
The correct OpenGL primitive is a triangle fan or a polygon, but the correct way to handle it is to split it into a sequence of triangles. Then you can put the whole object into a vertex array and handle it much more efficiently.
Have you considered using Blender 3D for your project ? or do you have a hard requirement to use Google Sketchup ?
From my fresh experience in Blender 3D (and as matter of fact OpenGL ES), i found it quite easy to pick, free and supported by a wide and helpful community; and most important doing the OBJ export job quite well. There are couple of operations to do on your modeled objects before exporting them but it is no rocket science.