If you are willing to use nova launcher then you can install tesla unread settings which will provide you unread counters on the corresponding icon. That's what I use and I love it. Here's a screenie:
No matter what, I can never stay away from android for long.
Addicted to flashing! It all started on my Nexus S........., Then Galaxy Nexus, upgraded to the Galaxy S3, Couldn't resist to take notes on a Note 2 & Note 10.1, Upgraded to the GS4, and now i'm rocking my LG G3 paired with the LTE LG G PAD 7.0