Hello, bcc. I know what you mean and I find that having the number of unread messages showing is a huge asset. Please know we've lifted this up internally to make the developers aware of the situation. You're not alone. While looking in another thread on this topic, I found a helpful suggestion from REGCEC61: "I disabled then enabled it (the Messages + app) so it went back to a previous version. When on previous version the notification count showed on the icon that I had an unread message, but as soon as the app was updated to its current version, it no longer shows the notification." This is a temporary solution until the developers are able to correct the update to the app. Does this help offer a solution for you?
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