With my new bravado, I looked at the unofficial CyanogenMod Android 4.4 (CM 11). The TeamChopsticks group hasn't released an Alpha since December 2013 but they keep building nightlies so I went with the latest nightly (cm-11-20140514-NIGHTLY-skyrocket.zip). Why not?
The release notes are here. As is typical Step 1 is an understatement.
1. YOU MUST USE THIS RECOVERY OR YOU WILL SOFT BRICK: Install CWM >126.96.36.199for SkyrocketLook carefully at that referenced file (recovery-skyrocket-6037.zip). ".zip" is the crucial part.
The reason is that the standard recovery won't let you flash a new recovery so you have to use ODIN. There's the catch. ODIN won't flash .zip files.
Here we go again. It would really be nice if Step 1 discussed the intricacies of that.
A little Google searching and I turned up this that describes how to install CWM (ClockWorkMod Recovery) on the Skyrocket. That works like a charm and it takes longer to read it twice as it demands than it does to perform the flashing of the recovery.
But there's a catch. The recoveries referenced in that post aren't the ones that are referenced in the Release Notes.
I wasn't the only one lost in the wilderness. I found this post that asked the question and got a good answer.
You can only flash the zip in a custom recovery. If you don't have a custom recovery you need to install it with Odin. You'll need a .tar.md5 recovery file to flash in Odin.Nothing is ever simple. So I used ODIN to flash twrp_188.8.131.52_skyrocket_vincom.tar.md5. I used TWRP to take a nandroid backup of the Skyrocket's 4.1.2 and copied it to my laptop via USB. That was the longest step in the whole process, about 20 minutes. While connected I copied the recovery-skyrocket-6037.zip, the CM 11 ROM and the gapps package to the root of my internal SD card.
Then I used TWRP to flash recovery-skyrocket-6037.zip.
I already had the required radio so I restarted in CWM recovery did the wipe as instructed. Then I just flashed the the ROM and gapps in sequence and rebooted.
BINGO! KitKat. My boot only took a few seconds.
While this isn't hard, there has to be a more direct way to get there.
Anyway, now I'm off!
Since I use Google Backup and Restore, all my apps started downloading and installing. I sat back and watched them for an hour or so and began playing with it.
I have to say that it is awesome.
So now, Google Now Launcher, Google Camera, ...
Now all my Android devices are KitKat.
But what do I do with the Moto X?